Summer. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it. I would love to be a sun worshipper, but my fair complexion can’t take it. Not to mention I’m prone to getting sun stroke. it’s not much fun. So as much as I would love to lie on the beach all day when the temperature hits 22C and beyond, I tend to cover up and sit under a parasol while browsing shopping websites such as one of my favourites Dotcomgiftshop.com. They currently have a Summer sale on – why not head on over and take a look? There are lots of lovely goodies at bargain prices – I love the tartan satchels and the children’s gardening sets! I have the retro glass bowls – I use them constantly and they are a steal at 3.95 for a set of five!
There’s one thing about Summer I really can enjoy with wild abandon – all the beautiful seasonal fruit. Strawberries, cherries, blackberries, peaches, raspberries. I adore them all.
In my mind, here is no finer way to showcase seasonal fruit than in a Pavlova. All that cream and fruit piled on top of the sweet meringue, crisp on the outside and marshmallow-
like softness inside – is there anything more beautiful and dreamy to eat?
Now I must confess that making this pavlova wasn’t all plain sailing. I originally made a larger version of this recipe. It was one mammoth meringue. I was so proud. Here it is before disaster struck -
And after -
I dropped it. I very nearly cried.
But I didn’t. Instead I pulled myself together and made another one. A smaller version, but maybe that was no bad thing. I think if I hadn’t dropped the first one we would have Still been eating pavlova for breakfast, lunch and dinner….
note: I halved the original recipe. Please feel free to double the ingredients if you want to have a go at the Pavlova of epic proportions, but just be aware it needs to bake for 4-5 hours. In this case you would need to draw a 20cm circle on the baking paper.
Peach Melba Pavlova
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour
For the topping
250ml double cream
75g Greek yoghurt
A splash of vanilla extract
1 tbsp icing sugar
2-3 ripe, juicy peaches
25g icing sugar
Simply whip the cream, yoghurt, vanilla and icing sugar together until you have soft peaks.
Puree the raspberries and icing sugar together in a food processor. Sieve the puree over a bowl. Try and get as much raspberry juice as you can. Taste the puree in case it needs more icing sugar.
Preheat the oven to 150C.
line a sturdy baking tray with baking paper. Using a cake tin or similar, draw a 16cm circle in the middle. This step isn’t really essential, but I find it really helps.
Using a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Still whisking, slowly add the sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the meringue is very stiff and shiny.
Stir in the cornflour.
Pile the meringue high on to the circle, and smooth the sides with a spatula. Make a little dip in the centre. Place in the oven and immediately turn down to 120C. Bake for 2 hours. When the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool completely.
When the pavlova is completely cold, pile with the cream, peaches and drizzle some of that raspberry sauce over. Carry to your table with pride :-)
In case you’re wondering, the broken pav did not go to waste. I’ll be revealing what I did with it in a day or two……;-)