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Pavlova Meringue

image1A really simple recipe, one that can easily be scaled up or down….on tour I use fresh eggs and utilise the whites for the meringue and the yolks for the Creme Anglais garnish. Either make individual pavlovas or one large showstopper.

Method

In a large free standing mixer or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, whisk the whites to full volume-stiff peaks.

Next, once eggs at full volume. On a free standing mixer ( we use Kitchen Aid on tour) reduce the speed to half, with a hand mixer switch to its slowest setting. Now this bit may sound tedious and unnecessary but will pay dividends with the finished dish, slowly and bit by bit add the caster to the egg whites… gradually, bit by bit… don’t rush. The caster needs to dissolve into the egg whites, if you add too much the meringue will be grainy… not cool, not nice and not worth serving. After what seems an age or in my case after listening to most of the first album by the Clash, you will have a smooth grain free meringue… as the boss says “Lovely stuff”

Now, mix together the vanilla extract, cornflour, white wine vinegar and if you want the optional cream of tartare. Add this to the meringue and either whisk it in or fold it in with a metal spoon. I prefer to fold it in myself, but each to their own.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice…Plain, St Honore, Star….mix it up if you want, anyway fill with the meringue mixture and decide if you want individual pavlova nests or a showstopper. I use Silpat silicone matts on tour and at home to line the baking trays, reusable non stick matts which are brilliant… however baking paper is just as effective.

Pipe your pavlovas onto the lined trays, I usually pipe some tiny ones too for garnish. Place in an oven pre-heated to 100c for 15 minutes, you’re looking for a shell to form. Ovens vary and this can take anything between 15 and 20 minutes.

When the shell has formed turn down the oven to its lowest setting. After five minutes turn the oven off. Leave them in the oven a minimum of 45 minutes in the oven. Preferably leave them overnight with the oven door slightly ajar.

The Fun bit

Whip up some Double cream and Icing Sugar to taste (chantilly). Hull some strawberries and slice them. Throw them together and add to the Pavlova nest or showstopper, bang there you go… basic Pavlova meringue.

Why stop there?

  • We will do tropical fruit versions with mango coulis and pineapple crisp garnish.
  • Etonian mess version
  • Trifle version with creme Anglais and sherry cream

Just use your imagination, your store cupboard and have fun!

Ingredients

  • 240g of egg whites
  • 500g of caster sugar
  • 2tsp   of white wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp of cornflour
  • 1 tsp  of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp  of cream of tartare
    (optional, it helps support large meringues)

Chef’s Tip

Wipe the mixing bowl you are using for the egg whites with a slice of lemon then dry with a kitchen towel, any hint of grease or impurities and the eggs won’t whip to volume