It was my mother in laws birthday recently and the family got together for dinner to celebrate. Of course as she was cooking her own birthday dinner, the least I could do was make her dessert! My mother in law is awesome, and I’m so appreciative of all the wonderful things she does for me and my girls. So this dessert had to be special.
After a big dinner I don’t like to end with a heavy rich pudding. Something light with fruit is always preferable. This pavlova is perfect. Light and fluffy and covered in seasonal fruits. I made this dessert last year for Christmas. The recipe came from a Marie Claire magazine I was flicking through at the hairdressers one day. I took a photo of the page – how did I exist prior to having a smartphone 😉
- 5 egg whites
- 250g caster sugar (just over 1 cup)
- 60g finely chopped pistachios
- 2 tspn corn flour
- 1 tspn white vinegar
- 300ml whipping cream
- 1 tspn rose water
- 1 tblsp icing sugar, sifted
- 2 nectarines, sliced into wedges
- 1 punnet raspberries
Preheat the oven to 140C/280F and line a baking tray with baking paper. Separate your eggs and add the egg whites to a clean mixing bowl. I use the eggs straight from the fridge, but some people swear that the egg whites need to be at room temperature…it’s up to you.
On high speed whisk your egg whites until they form soft peaks (it should fall off the whisk when lifted). Slowly add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time. Wait until the sugar is mixed through before adding more. The egg whites will turn glossy and pure white and will form firm peaks on the whisk.
Add the cornflour and the vinegar. These two ingredients stabilise the pavlova, forming a crunchy outer crust with a soft and fluffy centre. Cream of tartar can also be used instead of cornflour. Mix through the finely chopped pistachios with a spatula.
On your lined tray, spread out the pavlova mixture to form a circle. I spread mine too wide, so try and keep it to around 9 inches (23cm). Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
The pavlova will puff up and look gorgeously domed, but will collapse slightly when it starts to cool down. Don’t panic, it’s supposed to do this, it’s part of its rustic charm.
Whisk the cream on high speed and add the sifted icing sugar and the rose water. Whisk until firm peaks are formed. Spread it thickly on top of the pavlova and add the sliced nectarines and raspberries. Sprinkle with some more icing sugar and enjoy it’s stunning beauty!