In my last post I talked about the concepts of fressing and heirloom baking. This recipe is my ultimate recipe from my heirloom collection and I think fits very nicely into the idea of fressing as it is so enjoyable to eat. This was the dish I got excited about every time we went to my Grandparent’s for dinner. I would be desperately disappointed if it wasn’t the dessert of choice for that evening, and would ask my Grandma in a sad voice ‘but why didn’t you make a pavlova?’ as if the world had now come to an end.
If I was in luck and pavlova was made for dessert, before (or sometimes during) dinner I would reach up onto the bench and pick off little bits of the meringue that had formed little peaks on the edges of the pavlova. I always remember being served my piece of pavlova on its own or only with ice cream. There probably was other fruit to go with it, I was just to picky to want it sitting on my piece.
This recipe makes a crisp meringue and despite my childhood fussiness, does go well with cream and fruit. I have left this out of the recipe, purely because I wanted to make it as I remembered it. However, feel free to top the pavlova with some freshly whipped cream and fruit (such as passionfruit, raspberries, strawberries, banana, blueberries etc), just before serving.
x4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20 g cornflour
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites with a mixer on a medium to high speed, and gradually add the sugar. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick, glossy and holds its peak. This process should take around 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and the vinegar once this process is almost complete.
Once the mixture is holding its peak and the sugar has dissolved, sift in the cornflour and gently fold in with a metal spoon or a spatula.
Gently spoon the mixture in to the centre the prepared baking tray and smooth out until you have a circular shape. Keep the edges of the circle high and don’t smooth out too far. The circle should be around 24-26cm in diameter. It isn’t necessary to be overly precise, you just don’t want a really flat pavlova!
Turn the oven down to 125 degrees Celsius, and bake the pavlova for 1 hour 30 minutes, no longer. Once the cooking time has elapsed, turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven to cool. You can remove the pavlova immediately but be prepared for it to crack and sink a little (this will also depend on the weather, Summer may be the ultimate time to eat a pavlova, however the humidity does not do baking it any favours!).
Originally Posted July 16, 2014.