Photo by Clementine Day
Make Summer Pav with Balsamic & Pepper Roasted Strawberries
By Clementine Day
Pavlova is such a classic. It’s a big tradition in my family to have a pavlova for Christmas dessert, as I’m sure it is for many families. Outside of Christmas, I generally only ever make pavlova as a way of using up spare egg whites. I actually made this recipe so that it uses exactly as many egg whites as there are left over from my lemon and lavender curd tart.
This is a pretty fail safe recipe. The cornflour, cream of tartar and vinegar help to stabilise the egg whites and I’ve found that this, along with the right oven temperatures, prevent cracking during cooking. I also don’t leave the oven door ajar when I let it cool, I just turn the oven off, leave the door closed and leave it to cool for either 5-6 hours or overnight. The slower you make this ‘cooling down’ period, the less likely you are to get the ol’ crack and collapse. That said, if it does ‘crack and collapse’, don’t worry, the beauty of a pav is that you fill it with cream, top it with fruit, and no one will even notice. It’ll still be everything it needs to be, crunchy, marshmallowy - yum!
Summer Pav with Balsamic & Pepper Roasted Strawberries:
+ INGREDIENTS (FOR THE PAV)
6 egg whites
320g caster sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of cornflour
+ INGREDIENTS (ROAST STRAWBERRIES)
350g strawberries, halved and whole
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1-2 teaspoons of cracked pepper
+ INGREDIENTS (TO SERVE)
I prepare the pavlova the day/night before and then roast the strawberries and beat the cream on the day.
+ METHOD (FOR THE PAV)
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Trace out a 24cm diameter circle on a piece of baking paper and lay on a baking tray.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. I like to test a small amount by rubbing a small bit of the mixture between my fingers to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and it’s not grainy. Continue this until all sugar is added and beat until stiff glossy peaks form again.
- Add cornflour, vinegar and cream of tartar and beat again. It should be very glossy and holding its shape very easily now. If you have any graininess from the sugar at this stage continue beating until it’s completely dissolved.
- Spoon out the mixture into the circle marked on the baking tray. Try to make it as round as possible and use the back of a spoon to create fun swirls and peaks in your meringue.
- Place in the oven and drop the heat to 110 C. Cook for 1.5 hours.
- When finished, turn oven off but do not open the door. Let cool completely in the oven for 5-6 hours or preferably overnight.
+ METHOD (ROAST STRAWBERRIES)
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Toss halved and whole strawberries with balsamic, sugar and pepper and cook in oven for 30-40 minutes until soft but no jammy. Leave to cool.
+ METHOD (AEEMBLY)
- To serve, whip cream in stand mixer (or by hand with a whisk) until thick, don’t add sugar. If you want to add creme fraiche or sour cream to the cream, whip cream first and then slowly add the other dairy component.
- Top the pavlova generously with your cream and then with the roasted strawberries and some fresh, uncooked strawberries too. Drizzle over some extra syrup from your roasted strawbs and some fresh thyme.