Both crispy and soft, pavlova is the perfect dessert for summer months. Made with a sweet blackcurrant sauce and topped with cream and fresh blackcurrants, this pavlova has lots of fruity goodness.
- 4 large egg whites
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- For the topping
- 450g/1lb fresh blackcurrants
- 2 tsp corn flour
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 300ml/½ pint double cream
- 200g carton half-fat crème fraiche
To make the pavlova line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper and draw a 23cm/9″ circle, turn the paper over.
Preheat the oven to 130°C/266°F/ Gas Mark ½.
Put the egg whites into a large clean bowl and whisk until stiff. Gradually add two-thirds of the sugar a tablespoonful at a time, whisking between each addition. Mix the corn flour into the remaining third of sugar and add all at once and whisk until very stiff and glossy. Carefully fold in the vanilla and vinegar.
Scoop the meringue onto the paper and push the meringue out to fill in the circle, creating a dip in the middle, flick the meringue into peaks or swirls around the edge.
Bake in the oven for 1¼ hours or until firm and crisp around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. The meringue may very well crack and sink a little, transfer to a flat serving plate.
While the meringue is cooking, put the half the blackcurrants into a pan with 3 tablespoons of water and gently bring to simmer, cook for 1-2 minutes until the juice just begins to run from the fruit and colour the juices.
Blend the corn flour with 2 teaspoons of water, add to the pan and simmer until the juices have thickened. Turn the blackcurrants into a bowl to cool.
When ready to assemble, whip the cream until softly peaking, fold in the crème fraiche then add half of the blackcurrants and fold about four times to create a swirled effect. Pile this onto the pavlova, gently spreading it to the edge then spoon over the remaining blackcurrants and syrup.
Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are clean and free of grease so that the egg whites can reach maximum volume.