Pavlova with Red Fruit

23 Jun

This is my mum’s recipe for her amazing Pavlova. It is the most delicious dessert, it just melts in the mouth and no matter how much you have stuffed yourself you can always find room for a little slice of this desert. She usually makes it topped with grapes marinated in sherry and sugar but as it is our season for red currants, cherries and strawberries I made a red fruit topping. I am sure my mum would want me to point out that my version is a poor relative of the real thing; hers has a thick meringue base, so thick there is a pillow of soft squishy meringue inside the crisp sweet shell, the cream is thick and light with a hint of sherry and the fruit is arranged perfectly in alternating black and green grape circles. I did try but I didn’t whip the cream enough, I used granulated sugar so I had to beat it into the egg whites oops, I was too heavy handed so no soft pillow of meringue and I am still having trouble getting to grips with my fan-assisted, uncontrollable monster of an oven so all in all a pretty rubbish attempt. The good thing to know dear reader is that this recipe is indestructible and despite making a hash of following my mum’s recipe myself it came out tasting delicious so you can’t really loose giving this recipe a try and I can only get better with my next try.

  • 3 egg whites (large)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 level tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegarTopping
  • 284ml whipping cream
  • grapes green and black
  • 1 tbsp sherry or port
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 150c. Prepare a baking sheet by rinsing in water and while still wet lay a sheet of grease proof paper (baking parchment) over it. Whisk the egg whites until a soft peak forms. Mix together the vinegar and cornflour and fold ‘gently’ into the egg whites along with the sugar. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture out onto the baking sheet and spread out to form a large circle. Put on a low shelf in the oven and reduce the temperature to 140c. Bake for 1 hour turn the oven off and leave to cool slowly in the oven. (NB in my oven, which is a law unto itself, it takes about 30mins before it starts to burn!!!!) but I’ve kept my mum’s instructions intact in this recipe and hope it works for other people.

Meanwhile cut the grapes in half and remove any pips. Put the grapes in a bowl and add the alcohol and sugar. Leave to marinade for a couple of hours.

When you are ready to decorate whip the cream until thick and spreadable. Drain the liquid from the grapes and stir into the cream. Remove the pavlova from the oven. Get a serving plate and gently place it over the pavlova then turn over so that the plat is resting right side on the counter and the pavlova is crust side down on the plate. Gentle peel off the parchment, spread the cream in a thick layer over the surface and decorate with the fruit. Chill until ready to serve.


One Response to “Pavlova with Red Fruit”

  1. Laura Hudson 30/09/2009 at 01:00 #

    comments from the original post – don't really know how to do this. 1. David in Kansas wrote:Oh Boy! My blood sugar went up just looking at this delicious dessert.6/15/09 9:21:44 AM email website2. Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gard wrote:may not be perfect, but looks pretty good, and with perfectly ripe fresh fruit, how could it not taste good?Currants are starting here, as well as raspberries and blueberries. Cherries and strawberries are in full swing. Got to love all those red fruit!6/15/09 8:41:33 PM email website3. Julie wrote:Ah yes, how good is pavlova? I also struggle with mine in my fan-forced oven and not being able to produce a decent pav here Down Under, makes me positively un-Australian! My aunt (the family Queen of Pavs) suggested turning the oven off earlier than normal, and leaving the door very slightly ajar until the pav cools completely (she leaves hers overnight) in order to get that lovely meringue center. Sounds good in theory, although I'm yet to try it.Cheers, Julie (in Oz)6/15/09 9:51:18 PM email website4. the inadvertent farmer wrote:Ohhh my does that look delicious! The red fruit on top is stunning…yum!6/19/09 10:55:08 AM email website

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