Summer Fruit Pavlova

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This was served at a dinner last Saturday and everyone exclaimed at the colourful fruits and the aroma given by the passion fruits. It is the perfect dessert to serve at a barbecue or on any warm day.

I used to think that pavlovas should look perfect with perfectly piped rosettes surrounding a perfectly round base, but alas, that is beyond mere mortals like me! I have since decided that my pavlova have a perfectly acceptable home-made look about it and because the non-stick parchment I use is only that wide, an oval shape is fine too.  They have a lovely golden hue about them too instead of the slightly plasticky white of shop-bought meringues.

My secrets of successful – the meringue should be cooked the night before and left to cool overnight in the oven, there should be plenty of fruit piled on top and lastly, do not omit the passion fruits. It provides the perfect, aromatic finish.

SUMMER FRUIT PAVLOVA

(Serves 6-8)

2 large egg whites
115g (4 oz) golden caster sugar
350ml (12 fl. oz.) double cream
200g (7 oz.) strawberries
150g (5 oz.) blueberries
2 kiwi fruits
2 ripe passion fruits

Pre-heat oven to 150℃.

Place egg whites in a deep mixing bowl and using a cake mixer or electric beaters, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks (about 5-6 minutes). Add a tablespoon of sugar to the bowl and continue beating for a minute or so before adding the rest spoon by spoon, and beating until glossy.

Line a shallow baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. Using a large spoon, spread some egg white mixture to form a shallow base, making it as large as you would like but leaving ¾ of the mixture for the sides. Using 2 tablespoons, scoop and place tablespoonfuls of the mixture slightly apart all around the base to form the sides and make a nest. It does not need to be perfect but there should be some peaks to create a “pavlova” effect.

Place in oven and lower the heat to 140℃, and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave the meringue in the oven to dry out overnight.  This will give you perfect crispy meringue on the outside with chewy insides.

Just before serving, prepare the fruit. Half the strawberries if large. Blueberries should be left whole. Peel and cut the kiwi fruits into half lengthwise, and cut across into half-circle slices.

Beat the double cream until stiff and pile onto the meringue nest. Top with the strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruits and spoon the passion fruit pulp all over the fruit.

Serve immediately.