Pavlova has to be the best summer desert. Bold claim, I know! But seriously, it has everything you could ever want from a desert; gooey meringue, piles of fruit and whipped cream.
This weekend I was cooking dinner for four, and thought a Pavlova filled with a load of fresh fruit would be the perfect round off. It’s really easy to make, and you can put it all together beforehand so that all you have to do is lift it out of the fridge when it is ready to eat.
To make a medium-sized Pavlova for four people, you will need:
– 4 egg whites
– 200g caster sugar
– A pinch of salt
Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees. Separate the eggs, discarding the yolks, and putting the whites into a clean bowl. Try not to waste the yolks completely I made some lovely scrambled eggs with mine!
Whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks, and then keeping the whisk still moving, gradually pour in the sugar and salt. Keep whisking for several minutes until you have a beautifully glossy meringue mixture. You shouldn’t be able to feel the grains of sugar in it if you’ve whisked it long enough.
Line a couple of trays with baking parchment, and begin to spread your mixture into circles. I went for three circles at about 15cm wide each, as I wanted it to have a few tiers. Put them into the oven for about 1 hour, until they are lovely and crisp on the outside but still fluffy inside. Pop them onto a cooling rack and leave them until they are fully cool.
Meanwhile, make your filling. In the past, I have always just used whipped cream, however I came across this Jamie Oliver recipe which uses half cream and half yoghurt, and thought I would give it a try. I would highly recommend it! It tastes much fresher than just using cream. You will need:
– 200ml double cream
– 2 tbsp caster sugar
– 200g fat free natural yoghurt
Whisk the double cream with the caster sugar until you have medium peaks. Then carefully fold in the natural yoghurt. You should have a lovely thick mixture that you can now use to stack your meringues.
Spread 1/3 of the mixture on the first meringue circle, and top with some fruit. I went for strawberries, blueberries and blackberries with mine, but you can use whatever you like. Keep going with this until you reach the top.
Pile on the last of the fruit on top. I made a strawberry coulis to go with mine, so save a few strawberries back if you want to do the same. Just blitz them up in a blender with a 1 tbsp of icing sugar and a glug of water. It turns my nails matched the sauce….
Don’t pour the coulis over just yet, as it will make it go all soggy. Wait until your guests arrive to drizzle it on top, then serve and dig in!
This serves four people easily, and there’s still enough for leftovers.
Wait a second, who are we trying to kid?! …. Of course we ate the lot!
It was dark, therefore nobody saw…