To my mind, there is no better way to celebrate Mother's Day than with a home cooked meal and I invariably end up cooking for a crowd. Finding a dessert that is both elegant and simple enough to create for the masses can be tricky, but Pavlovas are amongst a few that fit this brief, straightforward enough to make en-masse and beautiful once bejewelled with seasonal fruit.
Happily, Mother's day coincides with some of the most colourful of fruit and vegetables coming into season. Sweet blood oranges, bush ruby rhubarb, and sharp pomegranate seeds will all usually feature on my menu. I recommend tracking down at least one of these ingredients to add a pop of colour to your table.
You will Need
- 300g Caster Sugar
- 5 Egg Medium Whites
- 1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1 Teaspoon Cornflour
- 1 Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
- 300ml lightly whipped cream
- a selection of seasonal fruits
Serves 8 to 10
How to Make
1.Pre-heat oven to 110°C/100°C/fan/gas mark 1.
2.Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
3.Weigh out all the ingredients so they are ready to go, measure the cornflour and white wine vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside.
4.Weigh the sugar into a bowl and set aside.
5.Place the egg whites along with the cream of tartar together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment.
6.Using an electric handheld whisk or electric mixer whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
7.Slowly add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition.
8.Once all the sugar is incorporated, whisk in the cornflour and vinegar mixture.
9.Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking tray, aim for one and a half dessert spoonfuls per portion. The Pavlovas will expand a little in baking so be sure to leave a little space between them. Pile the mixture high and make any alterations to the shape with the back of a spoon or palette knife.
10.Bake the pavlovas for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and allow to cool down completely in the oven. Do not be tempted to open the door, any sudden changes in temperature can cause the Pavlovas to crack.
11.Once completely cool, decorate the Pavlovas with a good dollop of cream and a selection of seasonal fruits of your choosing.
Cream of tartar is not an essential ingredient, but I like to use it in all meringues. It is a raising agent and will add structure and stability to the Pavlovas.
A good Pavlova should be crunchy on the outside with a soft, marshmallowy center. Don't be tempted to deviate from the baking times, but if you do want to check the progress of your Pavlovas, do so after 45 minutes.
Look for British grown fruits to ensure they are in season and leave the Summer fruits and berries on the shelf for now - they will taste much better when they come into season in a few months’ time and will be well worth the wait!
Rhubarb is my absolute favourite at this time of year, but it's too tart to eat raw. Poach the rhubarb in a saucepan with the juice of an orange and a couple of tablespoons of sugar, bring to a simmer then turn off the heat, pop a lid on the saucepan and allow to cool.
Pavlovas can be made a day in advance but are best decorated just before serving.
Will you be making Elle’s Fruit Pavlovas? We’d LOVE to see if you give these a try, so don’t forget to #Trimcraft and tag @elle_jane_ when uploading to social media, and to share your yummy makes in the Inspiration area.