I can happily say that this pavlova base is INCREDIBLE. I am so so so happy that I will be making this all summer long and the more opportunities to make it the better! Its crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside with a soft light centre. I found that there are a few tricks to make a good pavlova, and here they are just below i’ve added some tips!
Tips for making pavlova
- Use a spatula or a cake palette knife will help you make a smooth pavlova shape
- Cook a pavlova without any fan force in the oven
- Preheat the oven to a high temperature before hand and then reduce the temperature to a very low amount when you place the pavlova inside – that way the colour will quite pale and not turn too dark
- After cooking the pavlova for at least 90 minutes, turn off the heat and without opening the oven door, let the pavlova keep cooking with the temperature dropping down.
- Opening the door lightly will ensure that the temperature doesn’t drop too much hence the pavlova will maintain most of it’s height and won’t drop.
- Be patient and let the pavlova cool down slowly!
Recipe for Pavlova with strawberries and peaches
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes minimum, 1 hour cooling down time.
5 x eggs
1 cup sugar (caster sugar)
1 tsp of cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla paste extract
a pinch of Himalayan or other fine salt
2 x punnets of strawberries
2-3 white peaches (ripe or medium ripe)
1 tbsp honey
½ cup pistachio kernels
1 tbsp x white vinegar
200ml x pure double cream or pure cream
- Start by cleaning an electric stand mixer with vinegar using a paper towel, clean the bowl and the whisk.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, ensuring that there are no remnants of any egg yolk in the egg whites.
- Place the eggs whites along with the cream of tartar into the mixing bowl and start whisking the egg whites slowly, increasing the speed to medium until they are light and fluffy and have increased in size.
- Start by adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, as you finish adding in the sugar add in the vanilla paste and salt. Increase the speed more and more until medium high. The meringue is ready when it’s shiny, slightly glossy, silky and doesn’t feel grainy against your fingers. You can test this by stopping the mixer and rubbing a little bit of meringue between your fingers, if it’s still grainy then the sugar hasn’t dissolved yet so keep whisking the mixture. The meringue should also be stiff and doesn’t drop when you pick up the whisk.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees with no fan force (you will reduce it to 120 degrees at a later stage when you cook the pavlova).
- On a baking tray lined with baking paper spread out and shape the meringue mixture (using a spatula or spoon) into a round and relatively high height. Make sure it doesn’t touch the edges of the tray as it will become a little larger as it cooks in the oven.
- Reduce the oven to 120 degrees and place the baking tray into the oven. Cook the pavlova at 120 degrees for 90 minutes minimum. Turn off the oven and without opening the oven door let the pavlova continue cooking in the turned off oven for 30 minutes. Then open the oven door slightly and keep it open with the Pavlova inside until it comes to room temperature. This will ensure your pavlova doesn’t drop in size too much and doesn’t crack.
- While the pavlova is cooking, prepare the baked peaches and strawberries. Using one of the punnets of strawberries, cut each strawberry in half. For the peaches cut them in half, and in half again (cut around the seed. Drizzle with honey and place into the lowest rack in the oven. Cook until slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and mix together until the strawberries have mixed with the peaches and honey forming a runny fruit glaze. Set aside, in the fridge and allow to cool completely.
- Using the second punnet of strawberries, cut each berry in half and set aside.
- Roughly chop the pistachios and set aside.
- Whisk the cream until fluffy and set aside.
- To arrange the pavlova, place the cooled pavlova on a flat surface such as cake stand or plate and spread the cream on top, followed by the fresh strawberries, the baked strawberries and peaches, drizzle the honey fruit glaze on top and sprinkle with pistachios.
– Cooking the pavlova on a low temperature but for longer will ensure the pavlova will be a light creamy colour and doesn’t change in colour too much. Make sure to turn off the fan force. The pavlova will crack and drop if you remove it straight away from the oven, in order to avoid that the heat surrounding the pavlova needs to reduce gradually.
Recipe created for Harris Farm Markets