If I could only eat one thing forever, pavlova would definitely rank in my top three (along with cheese and ice cream – I couldn’t possibly choose my favourite among them – it wouldn’t be fair.)
It’s easy to make, it always looks spectacular, and I am yet to meet anybody who doesn’t like a good pavlova.
So, here’s a fail safe recipe for you to try. Two quick asides before I begin though:
Firstly, the cornflour and white wine vinegar are really important – it’s what makes the middle light and fluffy – without these two magic ingredients you’ve made a meringue, not a pavlova!
The other quick point is about the filling. You can add what you want (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, passion fruit) - though it’s conventional to use cream as a binder to hold the fruit together. But I think just cream can be a bit heavy, so my recipe uses half cream and half Greek yogurt - it’s lighter, healthier, and has a bit of a bite.
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of cornflour
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
150ml of double cream
150 ml of Greek yogurt
Any sort of soft, summer fruit you can get your hands on (especially raspberries and strawberries)
Whisk the egg whites until they’re hard. Really hard. So you can turn the bowl upside down and they’ll still hold. This is the only scope for error in the recipe – so make sure that the egg whites keep their shape…it’s no use getting bored while they’re still a bit sloppy, and saying ‘it’ll do’. Because it won’t.
Add the caster sugar slowly – still whisking it in. As you do this, the mixture will (obviously) grow, and will become shinier and thicker. Finally, whisk in the cornflour and white wine vinegar.
Using a spatula, scrape the meringue out of the mixing bowl, and arrange it in a sort of bird’s nest shape on some grease proof paper. It doesn’t have to be all smooth and neat – lots of texture and waves will look very smart.
Put the pavlova in the oven at 140C for an hour and a half. If you’ve got the time, then switch the oven off at the end, but leave the pavlova in there, so it can finish drying out in the oven as it slowly cools.
By this point, the outside of the pavlova should be hard, and with a bit of luck, it should slide off the tray onto a platter. If you’re serving this at a party, make the filling in advance, but don’t put it in the pavlova base until the last second, so it stays lovely and crisp.
For the filling, whisk the double cream, then stir in the yoghurt.
Add the fruit to the mixture, and a tiny bit of caster sugar to taste. Put it in the meringue base, and arrange some fresh fruit on top. Enjoy!