Named after the prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured New Zealand in the 1920's this light, fluffy dessert is thought to emulate the white layers of her tutu. Tis far from a ballerinas mouth you would expect to find a spoonful of this decadent sweet, I'm sure. There is something quite magical about getting your paws on fruit that has been grown in the centre of a city. I had been ogling two trees of juicy looking apples and pears in a garden close by my house for the past few weeks - I was making a tarte tatin for the September supper club and it just felt wrong to go and buy them from a shop, when they were literally dripping from a tree two gardens away. So off I went, bag in hand, to chance my arm with my unknown neighbours. As I had hoped, they were only delighted to get rid of the excess bounty. If someone near you is growing fruit, why not knock on their door and see what happens. Through some friendly 'shooting of the breeze' & apple tart recipe comparison, I have now created for myself a 'free' supply of very local organic apples and pears -la dolce vita!
- Put your oven on at 120'C
- Line a baking tray with parchment
- Take 4 egg whites, place in a large spot-lessly clean, dry bowl
- Weigh out 200g of caster sugar
- Beat the whites with an electric beater until they form stiff peaks
- Add the caster sugar, one tbsp at a time, combining fully
- When all the sugar is combined add a teaspoon of cornflour and a teaspoon of white vinegar
- Scoop your egg whites mixture onto the parchment, forming sides and a central area for the cream and fruit to fill
- Place in oven and cook for 1 hour & 30 mins
- When the time is up -DO NOT open the oven door for at least 30 mins and if you have loads of time just let the pavlova cool completely in the oven
- In the meantime toast some flaked almonds
- Cut your apples up into small pieces and stew gently in a pan, over a medium heat, with a knob of butter and some caster sugar -if they are on the tart side, cook for 10-15 mins -don't soften too much keep a little bite in them for texture
- Get some fresh raspberries or defrost some frozen ones
- Whip some cream and if you're feeling really gluttonous make some custard, I had a pot of good stuff in the fridge
- Salted Caramel is nectar from the gods and quite easy to make -you just need some patience- Luckily I had some left over from the Salted Caramel Ice Cream that I made for the supper club
Salted Caramel -
- Combine 125ml of cold water with 330g caster sugar, heat gently until sugar has dissolved
- Turn heat up to medium so that the mixture is bubbling, now wait....
- Be careful not to stir, or agitate the mixture vigorously, you can give it a gentle swirl every now and then
- Also brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush this will help prevent crystallisation, which you don't want.
- DO NOT taste the mixture as you go -the temperature that the mixture reaches will burn the gob off you and ruin the pleasure of eating the pavlova.
- You are waiting for the mixture to turn an amber colour this can take anything from 15-30 mins - I know, but it is worth it trust me!
- When you have achieved the amber colour, remove from the heat and gently whisk in 250ml of cream
- When it has cooled, add salt to your taste, if you can do try and use a good salt like Maldon -it will make a difference!
- This recipe if from Kerstin Rodgers Supper Club book, it will make a large quantity, which you can store in a jam jar for mid-night snacks, making salted caramel ice cream or just simply dipping a spoon into...
- When you have everything ready, assemble your pavlova, custard, cream, fruit, almonds and salted caramel or in whatever order you like.
- The beauty of a pavlova is that you can put whatever fruit you fancy on it and with a bit of whipped cream you have a show stopper dessert, which everyone will love and if someone doesn't love pavlova -personally I wouldn't trust them!