How do I make pavlova?

26 Jan

Today is Australia Day, so in keeping with the celebration of our wonderful nation, I wanted to learn something true blue. And the answer seemed obvious – finally find out how to cook a pavlova.

The only problem is I have been known to burn water, so expert help was clearly needed. And I knew just where to turn – my friend Petra Frieser, who runs some of the best food websites/blogs you’ll ever find. You can find her wit and wisdom at Sunshine Coast Regional Food and Regional Foodie.

But in the meantime, here is the recipe she was happy to share for her mini pav. Happy cooking and (hopefully) happy Hottest 100.

6 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
350g castor sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 punnet strawberries
1 tbsp glace ginger, finely diced
½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tbsp castor sugar extra
½ cup cream, whipped
Persian fairy floss or sifted icing sugar, to garnish

Line two baking trays with aluminium foil. Coat foil with butter and sprinkle with cornflour; set aside. Preheat oven to 125C. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff, taking care not to over beat. Slowly add castor sugar, small quantities at a time, beating as you go. When the mixture is extremely stiff and all the sugar has been added, add the vinegar and vanilla essence and combine. Fold sifted cornflour lightly into the mix.
Divide the mixture into eight mounds, four on each baking tray. Stack the mound high by dragging up the sides with the back of a spoon and scoop a hollow out of the centre. Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 
2-2 ½  hours at 125C. The meringues should be hard when tapped. Allow to cool slowly in the switched-off oven with the door slightly ajar.
Slice four of the strawberries into ½cm slices. Place on a small dish and sprinkle with half of the extra castor sugar and glace ginger. Set aside. Process the remaining strawberries in a blender with the last of the extra castor sugar and grated ginger until pureed. Set aside also.
To serve, place each meringue on a dish. Fill the hollow of each meringue with a spoonful of whipped cream. Perch two or three of the sliced strawberries on the cream and scatter the remaining slices around the meringue. Sprinkle with any leftover glace ginger.  
Drizzle the strawberry puree on top of the meringue and around the dish. Garnish with a tuft of Persian fairy floss or sifted icing sugar.

2 Responses to “How do I make pavlova?”

  1. gracefullygf January 26, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I LOOOVE pavlova. Strawberries are my favorite fruit, and they go so well with the meringue thing! Obviously I would do this recipe with regular vinegar instead of malt (malt vinegar has gluten in it!). I heard somewhere that this dessert was created in honor of a ballet dancer by the same name. What a romantic idea!

    • whatcanilearntoday February 1, 2012 at 12:42 am #

      I love pavlova too. Especially the crispy bits 🙂 And you are so right about the naming. I had assumed it was just coincidence but it turns out it was created and named for Russian dancer Anna Pavlova during her tour of Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Of course the Kiwis are always trying to take credit for the dessert, but we know better!!

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