One of my favourite summer desserts, Pavlova is just divine: sweet, ripe fruit on top of whipped double cream, all gracing wonderful meringue: crisp on the outside and deliciously light, soft and slightly chewy on the inside. The combination is just heavenly and the joy of this recipe is that it is ridiculously easy to make – I’d never made meringue before finding this recipe but it has always been a success – in every way – and a firm favourite on our summer menus.
Serves 6 – 8
What you need…
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
250g caster sugar, plus 3 – 4 teaspoons for the cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon malt vinegar
300ml double cream (or more if you want to pile it high!)
At least 1 x 300g punnet of ripe summer strawberries or a combination of your favourite summer fruit – I often combine strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The amount of fruit is all about personal preference
What to do…
Preheat your oven to 140°c / 275°f / gas 1.
Line a baking tray with Bake O Glide/parchment paper and draw a 23cm circle on it (as guidance for later).
Using an handheld electric whisk, beat the egg whites and salt together until very stiff. Then, gradually whisk in the 250g caster sugar until it forms stiff peaks – this takes 3 – 4 minutes. Fold in the vanilla extract and vinegar.
Plop the meringue mixture onto your baking tray, gently spreading it to fit the drawn circle. Pop it into the oven and leave for 1 hour until firm. Then – and this is key – switch the oven off but leave your meringue in for a further 30 minutes with the door closed.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Discard the lining paper and put your meringue onto a pretty serving plate.
Whisk the cream and 3 – 4 teaspoons of sugar together (the amount of sugar depends on your personal taste) until stiff and then pile on top of the meringue. Arrange the fruit on top, stand back, admire your handy work and then serve – just divine – this is one of those desserts that is so light and delicious, I just keep coming back for one more spoonful….time and time again. Enjoy!
Don’t waste the egg yolks – they can be frozen for another use.
If I’m feeding a crowd, I’ll double up on these ingredients and made a great big Pavlova and then use the remaining 6 egg yolks to make a large tiramisu – a thoroughly naughty conclusion to any meal!
Very, very easy and simply delicious!