Winter Fruit & Nut Pavlova
Meringue is a great dessert stand by. Mix it up and use roasted fruit or opt for pre-made caramel sauce instead of chestnut puree if you fancy.
- COOK 1 hour 20 minutes (plus cooling)
- LEVEL average
- 6 large egg whites (keep the yolks in the fridge for another day)
- 300g caster sugar Pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon icing sugar 50g pecans
- 300ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 4 figs
- 200g mixed berries (red currants, raspberries)
- 1 clementine or tangerine, peeled into segments
- 4 tablespoons sweetened chestnut puree
- Ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 140°c/120°c fan/gas.
- Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and draw a 30cm circle on it as a template.
- Place the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean mixing bowl and whisk with a hand held or freestanding electric mixer until stiff peaks have formed.
- Add the caster sugar a spoon full at a time, whisking the whole time then add the sea salt and vanilla extract.
- Continue to whisk for around 8 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. To test this take a pinch of mixture between your finger and thumb and rub together - if it’s a little gritty continue mixing.
- Spoon the mixture on to the lined baking sheet using the back of the spoon to create peaks.
- Place the pavlova in the oven for around 1 hour and 20 minutes or until set.
- Once baked, allow to cool down completely.
- Once cooled you can keep the pavlova in an air tight box for around 3 days in a cool dark place.
- About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve remove the pavlova from the oven and pre-heat to 140°c/120°c fan/gas 1.
- Line a small roasting tin or baking sheet with grease proof paper.
- Rinse the pecans under cold water in a sieve and tip into a roasting tin whilst wet, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon icing sugar, toss together and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until toasted and crunchy.
- Meanwhile pour the cream into a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk to soft peaks and place to one side.
- Wash fruits and quarter the figs. Place the pavlova on a serving plate or board and spoon over the cream and chestnut puree and then arrange the fruit on top. Scatter over the caramelised pecans and dust over a little ground cinnamon.
How To Make The Ultimate Meringue...
Here are some expert tips from Harrie Kivell at Boo To A Goose
Always try to use a stainless steel or glass bowl for making meringues as plastic bowls can often harbour traces of grease or fat which prevents the egg whites from getting stiff when whisked.
Baking is a good opportunity to use your older eggs. Save your freshest eggs for poaching.
Patience is key! Only whisk on a medium speed. If it’s too high and fast, you will risk breaking the protein in the whites causing the meringue to collapse when you bake.
To check if your meringue mixture is ready to bake, rub a pinch of the mixture between your fingers to make sure you can’t feel any sugar granules.
Recipe by: Phillipa Spence Photography: David Loftus