Basic pavlova

Basic pavlova

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
6-8

With a crisp meringue outside, delicate marshmallow-like softness inside, filled with cream and topped with fruit, Australia’s most famous contribution to the culinary world was named for the great ballerina Anna Pavlova, and is a queen of desserts.

Pavlova can be baked and served in a fluted china flan dish, moulded in a springform tin or shaped into a free-form dome. Strawberries and passionfruit are two classic toppings, but any fresh, frozen or tinned fruits can be used, or the pavlova can be topped with lemon cheese or apricot sauce.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch salt
460g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
cream, whipped, for filling
fruit or other topping of your choice

Method

  1. If you have a gas oven, preheat it to a very hot 230°C before starting to mix pavlova. If you have an electric oven, preheat it to a slow 150°C.
  2. Beat egg whites with salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop beating when all sugar has been incorporated and fold in vinegar and vanilla.
  3. Pile mixture into a greased 20 cm china flan dish or springform tin and lightly smooth top. Or cover a baking tray with greased foil, mark a 20 cm diameter circle on it and pile mixture onto the circle; mound up sides with a spatula and make a slight depression on top.
  4. If using a gas oven, turn heat to lowest temperature, put pavlova in and bake for 1½ hours or until crisp on top and a pale straw colour. If using an electric oven, put pavlova in and bake for 45 minutes, then turn oven off and leave with door shut for 1 hour.
  5. Remove pavlova from oven and cool completely. Remove sides of springform tin, if using. Fill the pavlova generously with whipped cream, then with your choice of topping.

Note

  • The meringue may also be sprinkled with blanched, slivered almonds before baking. They will toast to a golden brown.
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