The pavlova always shouts 'summer' and this pavlova bursting with ripe strawberries is no exception.
Can you make pavlova the day before serving?
A pavlova meringue base will keep well for several days in an airtight container. Making your pavlova base the day before is a good way to get ahead if you’re hosting and have a lot to do on the day. Simply bring out the base and top with fresh cream and berries when you are ready to serve.
Why do you need cornflour in pavlova?
Use cornflour and a little acid in your pavlova (we’ve used lemon juice here) to create a meringue with a crisp shell, and chewy middle. If you choose to leave these out, your meringue is more likely to be brittle all the way through.
Cornflour helps the eggs to retain moisture, which creates that marshmallow middle. While the acid (either lemon juice or sometimes vinegar) will stabilise the egg to stop it from collapsing. It’s also best to use older eggs, as these will whip up into bigger peaks.
What is passion berry?
The Passion berry pepper brings more complexity, with its pepper-like spice and passionfruit notes. It both accentuates the strawberry flavours but also cuts through the sweetness. Passion berry pepper will become a summer store cupboard staple and you'll bring the pavlova into regular feasting rotation.
Can you use granulated sugar instead of caster sugar in pavlova?
Use caster sugar in your meringue base, as this will dissolve into the eggs giving you a glossy and smooth mix. Granulated sugar could lead to a grainy pavlova. Although you could experiment with icing sugar for super-light meringues!
Ingredients for pavlova Serves: 6
- 4 large egg whites
- 200g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
- 1tsp cornflour
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 300g strawberries
- 2 tsp Sous Chef Passion Berry Pepper
- 300ml double cream
- 2tbsp icing sugar
Method for pavlova
- Preheat the oven to 140° (120° fan) gas mark 1. Line a wide baking sheet with greaseproof paper and draw a 18cm circle onto it (you can use the base of a cake tin). Using a hand held electric mixer or a freestanding mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks then gradually add the caster sugar until it is thick and glossy.
- Mix through the cornflour, vanilla and lemon and pile onto the disc on the baking sheet. Make a shallow dip with the back of a spoon to fill with the cream and fruit.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until firm to the touch then turn the oven off and leave to cool inside the oven for a further hour without opening the oven door (this could make the pavlova collapse).
- Meanwhile, toast the passion berries in a small pan until fragrant then crush in a pestle and mortar. Quarter the strawberries and mix with the 2tbsp caster sugar and the crushed passion berries and leave to macerate.
- Once the pavlova has cooled completely, whip the cream with the icing sugar until it holds soft peaks and pile this into the middle of the pavlova. Top with the macerated strawberries and serve immediately.