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A classic dessert of meringue, whipped cream and fresh fruit, originally made in honour of the famous ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. This is a great summer dessert but it can be eaten at any time of the year, just use seasonal fruit.
- 300g mixed berries
- 300ml double cream
- 50ml icing sugar
- For the meringue
- 400g Sugar
- 200g Egg white
- 200ml water
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
- Put the sugar and the water into a pan and bring it up to the boil. Keep the mixture boiling for about 10 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the sugar has reached a temperature of 121°c (using a temperature probe is most useful for this).
- While the sugar is reaching temperature, whisk the egg whites until they reach the soft-peak stage.
- Once the sugar has reached temperature and the egg whites have been sufficiently whipped pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites while continuing to whisk them.
- Continue to whisk the egg whites for about 10 minutes until the bowl feels cold. The meringue mixture should appear to be stiff, glossy and creamy. (Making the meringue is far easier if you have a worktop electric mixer.)
- Preheat the oven to 140°c.
- Cut a disk, the size you want the pavlova base to be, out of a sheet of ordinary paper (ours was 20cm). Put this underneath a sheet of greaseproof paper or (preferably) a sheet of non-stick silicon. (this will act as a template to guide you in making the base of the meringue.)
- Spoon about half of the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe a ring on to the greaseproof paper or silicon, around the edge of the template. Pipe another ring around the inside of the first ring and continue to pipe rings until you reach the middle. Then smooth over the rings with a palette knife to form a flat disk of meringue.
- Carefully lift up one side of the greaseproof paper or silicon and pull out the paper template.
- Using a spoon, carefully put a heaped tablespoons amount of the meringue on the edge of the disk. Continue to build up the walls by putting heaped tablespoons of meringue around the edge. Then smooth down the walls with a palette knife.
- Again using the palette knife, gently tap the inside, outside and top of the walls to texture the meringue.
- Put the meringue into the oven for 3 hours.
- Remove the meringue from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
- Put the double cream and the icing sugar into a bowl and whisk them together until the cream is firm and will hold its shape.
- Put the meringue onto the final serving plate or cake stand and spoon the whipped double cream into the meringue.
- Pile the fruit onto the cream and serve.
Make the meringue base
Finish the pavlova