Presenting food as something it isn't makes a dish more memorable. And this "topsy turvy" food trend has taken the gastronomic world by storm. Heston Blumenthal’s meat fruit is almost more famous than the two-starred restaurant it originated from, Dinner. Basque restaurant Mugaritz serves boiled potatoes that look like pebbles. The trend is filtering down from Michelin starred restaurants and now with Easter just around the corner we've created our own play on the classic fried egg.
These passion fruit pavlovas will surprise and delight. They're made from a base of meringue topped with a layer of whipped cream and a yolk of home-made passion fruit curd. Passion fruit powder - made from freeze-dried passion fruits - is easier to work with than fresh passion fruit, and gives a really intense burst of flavour. Serve in frying pans at breakfast for a truly sugary surprise!
For the meringue base Serves: 6
- 60g egg whites
- 140g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cornflour
- A splash of white wine vinegar
- 150ml double cream
- 20g icing sugar
- Pea-sized quantity of vanilla paste
For the Passion Fruit Curd
To make the meringue base
- Preheat the oven to 140°C, or 120°C for a fan oven, and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a stand mixer or using an electric hand whisk.
- Add half of the sugar and continue to whisk.
- Add the remaining sugar little by little and finally add the cornflower and the splash of vinegar. The meringue should be firm, glossy and smooth.
- Fill a piping bag with a plain round nozzle and pipe a tight spiral shape around 10 cm in diameter. Pipe three onto each baking tray, evenly spaced.
- Bake the meringues for 25 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 120°C, or 100°C for a fan oven, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. The meringue base should be crisp on the outside but not browned.
To make the passion fruit curd
- In a bowl mix together the passion fruit powder and water, stirring with a whisk until combined.
- Add the sugar, egg and egg yolk and mix to combine.
- Soak the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water.
- Place the passion fruit mixture over a pan of boiling water and stir constantly until it begins to thicken and covers the back of a spoon. Remove from the hear
- Drain the gelatine, squeezing out the excess water. Add to the hot passion fruit curd and stir until dissolved.
- Add the butter to the curd in small cubes, stirring to combine.
- Pour the curd onto a flat plate or baking tray covered in cling film. Cover with another layer of cling film and refrigerate until cold.
To assemble the pavlovas
- When ready to serve -whisk the cream to soft peaks with the icing sugar and vanilla paste.
- Use a piping bag to pipe the cream onto the meringue base in a spiral.
- Use a separate piping bag to pipe the passion fruit curd into the middle to form a yolk.
- Finally, for a glossy egg white finish, use the blowtorch to very lightly and carefully melt the surface of the cream. The blowtorch can also be used to lightly brown the edges of the meringue to give it that crispy fried egg look.
- Serve immediately.