With all the delicious berries and summer fruits on offer at the moment, and three lone eggs getting older and older in my egg chicken, a Summer Fruit Pavlova seemed the perfect way to bring a little sunshine to an otherwise disappointing summer.
3 egg whites
6oz caster sugar (170g)
500ml double/whipping cream
Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
This really is the most simple of all of the deserts I make, but also the most spectacular. First, pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place into a good sized, clean bowl. The bowl must be totally grease free, otherwise the eggs won’t whisk properly.
Whisk the whites (I use a hand mixer) until stiff. Once the egg whites are stiff – not before – begin to add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time.
When all the sugar is incorporated the mixture should be thick and glossy, not grainy. People offer all kinds of tips to make a meringue marshmallowy, such as a drop of vinegar or adding some cornflour, but I find that it isn’t necessary.
To bake the meringue, I like to use a pizza tray. It’s round, so it’s easier to use as a guide to free-form the meringue. I line it with baking parchment, then spoon on the mixture and smooth it around. I build up the edges and hollow out the centre a little so the filling is contained.
Once formed, bake for 1 hour.
When the hour is up, switch off the oven and leave the meringue inside with the oven door slightly ajar to cool. This, allegedly, prevents the meringue from sinking too much in the centre.
Once completely cool, whisk the cream (not too firm) with a little icing sugar and pile on the meringue. Brush the fruits (don’t wash as they will go watery) and pile them on.
Sprinkle with a little icing sugar for some glamour, and dive in!