Loveladles

Food Lovers Recipes

BERRY & MINT PAVLOVA

This is a classic summer pudding, served and loved throughout most family kitchens. The reason I’d like to share this with you is that I believe I have found the most delicious and fool-proof recipe for the perfect meringue…and once you have perfected making meringues, there is just so much you can do with them – from the simplest individual “beze” with whipped cream, to the wildest layered, chestnut or walnut meringue cake, to the beloved, public school invoking, Eton Mess.
The strawberries, cream and meringue combo is very close to heavenly. Add a little mint and you’ve achieved nirvana.

INGREDIENTS (serves 8-10)

For the meringue:
6 medium egg whites– room temperature
A pinch of salt
350 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons cornflour

For the topping:
Strawberries – approx. 2 punnets – 600 grams to 700 grams should be plenty (this is also great with raspberries or any mixture of berries you like, depending on how available they are to you)
1 – 2 dessert spoons sugar
A dessert spoon of Grand Marnier
600 ml double cream
(3 tablespoons elderflower cordial – optional)
3 – 4 sprigs of mint and some mint leaves
A small amount of icing sugar for dusting

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 120’ C.
  • Separate your eggs and put the whites into a large mixing bowl. (It seems a terrible waste not to use the yolks, so think of doing something else with them for the same meal…such as a wonderful Hollandaise sauce to serve with asparagus or steamed salmon).
    Tip: make sure your bowl is extremely clean. Egg whites can be tricksy and over-sensitive to foreign bodies!
  • Add a large pinch of salt.
  • Use an electric hand mixer and beat the egg whites for about 2 minutes at a high speed. You will see the familiar silky-looking peaks forming.
  • Start adding the sugar slowly whilst still whisking the egg whites.

Add about ¼ of the sugar at a time and continue to whisk between each addition for a couple of minutes.Once you’ve added all the sugar, the meringue mixture will be very glossy and have a stiffness to it.

  • Spoon over the vanilla extractand the white wine vinegar and gently stir it into the mixture using a large, metal spoon.

  • Sift the cornflower over it and fold this in as well. The meringue is now ready to bake.
  • Prepare a large, flat baking tray by covering it with baking parchment/greaseproof paper. I like to draw a large circle on the underside of the paper beforehand, using an 8 – 9 inch plate. It helps as a guide, when spooning the meringue mixture, to keep to the shape and size I want.
  • Keeping 3 or 4 dessertspoons of mixture aside, use a spatula to pour and shape the mixture onto the baking tray, forming an even circle of about 4 cms height.
  • With the remaining small amount of mixture, use a dessert spoon to make small, irregular shaped dollops – “bezes” – each side of the round shape, making sure they do not touch. (If you don’t feel there’s enough space between them, use a second, lined baking tray). You will use these to decorate the pavlova.
  • Bake the meringues on the lowest shelf of the oven, at 120’ C, for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
    They will have ‘risen’ a bit and should have a slight pinkish hue and be hard, shiny and possibly a little cracked on the outside.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack and then remove the paper and put to one side. You could make these the day before and keep them, once completely cooled, in an airtight container.
  • Hand whisk the cream, gently, until it’s stiff – take care not to over-whisk it as it could take on a buttery appearance or even curdle.
  • If you are keen to try flavouring the cream with elderflower cordial, now is the moment to add it. I struggle to find this delicious cordial in Greece and tend to simply leave it out. It does, however lend a very subtle, almost citrusy aroma to the cream and makes the whole pudding a little more interesting. This can also be done from the day before and kept in the fridge. However the next stage must be done just before you sit down to the meal.

  • Prepare the berries. Wash, pat dry with kitchen paper, keep a few whole ones for decoration and slice the rest – if you are using strawberries (other berries are best all left whole).
  • Roughly chop a small handful of mint leaves and mix them into the sliced strawberries.
  • Place them in a bowl and gently mix in the sugar, then add a little Grand Marnier- “to taste”.

Just before serving:

  • spread the cream over the pavlova, creating a slight well dipping towards the centre.
  • Spoon the strawberries over the cream.
  • Decorate the edges with whole strawberries. Place the small meringues on top, using a little cream on their undersides for ‘glue’.
  • Plant a few sprigs of mint and lightly dust the whole pudding with some icing sugar.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.