Entered by Sarah Wallace on 07/01/2013
The pavlova is the guest of honour at any family party. It is the first dessert to be cut up and the first to be finished.
My great aunt used to be the queen of pavlovas. Now that very grand title has passed to Mum and she is a very worthy champion of the name. I am now hoping that my festive version of the pavlova will mean that I am next in line for the accolade.
This pavlova is divine. The meringue on the outside is beautifully crisp covering the deliciously light and glossy mallow centre. The pavlova is topped with luscious double cream and festively scattered with crushed raspberries, sharp passion fruit, sweet juicy pomegranate seeds, crunchy pistachio pieces and adorned with a sprinkle of gold flecks - it is the party season after all!
This dessert if equally as nice in the summertime topped with a selection of berries or exotic fruits.
1. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees celsius.
2. Beat the egg whites for 10 minutes using a freestanding or handheld mixer on maximum speed until they become white, frothy and full of air.
3. Add one quarter of the sugar and beat for 4 minutes. The egg whites will instantly change and become thicker and beautifully glossy. Continue adding the sugar in quarters whipping for 4 minutes each time.
4. Next add the white vinegar and beat the meringue mixture for a further 5 minutes. From start to finish, the mixture will have been beaten for just over 30 minutes. Beating is the secret to a perfect pavlova.
5. Line a baking tray or pizza stone with greaseproof paper. Then pile all of the meringue mixture into the centre of the greaseproof paper. Using a fork, smooth out the edges and lightly pat down the top to make it flat. Don’t flatten the pavlova out completely. Try to keep the mixture in a tight circle as it will spread out as it cooks.
6. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour by which time the outside of the pavlova with be crisp. You can remove the pavlova from the oven and leave it to cool after 1 hour or if you have some time, turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven for a further hour to add extra crunch to the meringue.
7. Once removed from the oven, leave to cool completely before decorating.
1. Whip the cream until it becomes thick and fluffy. Pile on top of the pavlova and spread to the edges.
2. Crush the raspberries in your hand and scatter over the pavlova.
3. Cut the passion fruits in half and scrape out the flesh dotting it around the pavlova.
4. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and pistachio pieces on top.
5. Finally, dust with the gold flecks for some extra festivity.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family do.