Over the last few months, I’ve been posting recipes out in my newsletters, and my readers love them! So I’m posting them here on my blog too. Hope you enjoy.
Recipe based on Nadia Lim’s Blueberry and Lemon Curd Pavlova
In the 1920s, the celebrated prima ballerina, Anna Pavlova, star of the Imperial Russian Ballet, toured Australia and New Zealand. In honour of her visit the pavlova was invented: a meringue-based desert with a soft, caramel-like interior and crispy exterior.
There’s ongoing debate over which country was responsible for its invention. Me, I think it was New Zealand. I’m not biased. 😀
Today there’s many variations on the pavlova: my stepmother used to make a gorgeous one with coffee and walnuts. But usually a pav has a plain, creamy-coloured base, topped with whipped cream and fruit.
This particular pavlova is ideal for Christmas, as it looks somewhat like a wreath, with these beautiful seasonal colours.
The trick to a good pavlova is to separate the eggs correctly – the recipe will fail if there’s even a hint of egg yolk. And place it in a HOT oven, but allow the pav. to cool for ages – preferably overnight – before removing.
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/2 C caster sugar
- 2 t cornflour
- 1 t white vinegar
- 1 – 2 C whipped cream
- 1/2 t vanilla (or vanilla seeds)
- 1/4 C pomegranate seeds
- 1 punnet blueberries
- 1/4C sliced almonds
- fresh mint leaves, to garnish
Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray with backing paper and mark an 18 – 20 cm circle on it. (You can use a plate or a bowl as stencil.)
- Whip egg whites with electric beater until stiff peaks form (they must be really stiff)
- Add caster sugar while beating.
- Continue beating on high speed. The meringue mixture should be thick and glossy.
- Beat it cornflour and vinegar.
- Spoon onto circle on baking paper. You can smooth the top to look like a ballet-dancer’s skirt, or keep it rough, to form the idea of ruffles.
- Put it in the oven and TURN THE OVEN OFF!
- This is very important. Do not let anyone else open the oven, not for any reason. Not even your children, and especially NOT your husband. You may need to stick a sign on the door of the oven.
- Leave the pav in the cooling oven for as long as possible, ideally overnight. Do not worry if the surface cracks, this is totally normal and will add to the homemade authentic look. Besides, you can fill up these imperfections with cream.
- Once removed from the oven, and cooled, decorate with generous amounts of whipped cream and fruit, as in the picture above.
- Alternatively, top with whipped cream and fruit of your choice.
An untopped pavlova will keep in a dry container for a while, so you can make this a few days before serving. But once it’s smothered in cream, keep in the fridge and eat quickly.
Nutritional information: best you don’t know.