Tried and true – and it never fails to impress. However, make sure your oven is reliable. A dodgy oven maketh a dodgy pavlova.
- Egg whites
- Castor Sugar
- Use 1/4 cup of castor sugar to each egg white. The sugar *must* be castor sugar – if you don't have any, whiz some regular sugar in the food processor until it is fine enough. I find 4 egg whites is usually enough (to serve 4 – 8 depending how greedy people are). Vary as necessary.
- Fresh whipping cream (not pre-sweetened, or in a can. The proper stuff please.)
- Various fruits depending on taste and season – I use blueberries, passionfruit pulp and strawberries the most frequently. Kiwi fruit also works well.
- Preheat oven to 150 (too lazy to look up farenheit, sorry!).
- Using electric beaters whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. This is when the whites are fluffy and the beaters will leave permanent tracks, but not so stiff that towering mountains emerge.
- Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each inclusion.
- At the end the mixture should be stiff and glossy, and stiff peaks should form when you remove the beaters.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the tray in a circle shape – you can use a plate or something to draw the circle if you wish, or just go free form. Pile the meringue up so you have a short wide cylinder.
- Put in oven, turn oven down to 120.
- Leave for about 30-45 minutes. The meringue is cooked when it is golden brown and quite firm to touch.
- Remove and let cool.
- The base can be made ahead and then left until just before the pavlova needs to be served.
- Whip cream using beaters. Whip until it's nice and stiff.
- Pile cream on top of meringue base.
- Top with fruits. Sometimes I make nice concentric circles. If I'm just using blueberries and passionfruit pulp I just heap it on haphazardly. You can also drizzle on any kind of fruit based sauce or liquer for an added kick.
- Another option is to make individual pavlovas – make the meringue bases quite small, one for each person. Remember they will expand as they cook so leave room between them on the baking tray. Follow cooking instructions but for less time (about 20 minutes). Pile cream, blueberries and passionfruit pulp on top.
This recipe was submitted by Imogen on May 22, 2005.