Pavlova is one of those great recipes that you should have in your arsenal, once you know the technique you can whip up a delicious dessert without even thinking about it. Using whatever fruit you have on hand, you can make them whatever season, pile it high with berries and stone fruit in the summer, blackberries and chocolate at christmas, its a super simple recipe that will always please a crowd. It takes minutes to whip up and it really is a low effort recipe. The difference between plain old meringue and pavlova? Its a texture thing. A true pavlova should be delightfully crisp on the outside with a pillowy marshmallow like centre. The key to this perfect texture is baking the pavlova in a low oven and adding a little vinegar and cornflour, which helps stabilise the meringue and give that delicious marshmallow texture.
Summer Berry Pavlova
6 large egg whites
350g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp cider vinegar
500ml double cream
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
600g mixed berries
Preheat the oven to 150C (130C fan).
Place the egg whites into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Whilst continuing to whisk slowly pour in the sugar whisking until the meringue holds stiff glossy peaks. In a small bowl mix together the the vinegar and cornflour then pour into the meringue and whisk for a minute or so until it is fully combined. Scrape the meringue onto the middle of a parchment lined baking tray and spread out into a disc.
Bake in the preheated oven for an hour then turn off and allow to cool fully in the oven (I do this the night before and just leave it overnight).
To finish the pavlova whisk the cream and vanilla until the cream holds soft peaks then spread over the the top of the pavlova finishing with the fresh berries.