If I had to name a dessert that was my favourite it would be a pavlova. I detest bought ones – the middle all gooey and eggy is not my thing at all – there has to be soft centre but the crunchy crust is the best part! I believe pavlova is the perfect summer dessert. Easy to make the day before and leave the dressing until serving. I think it is probably the dessert that I get asked to make the most – seconded only by my rocky road.
I got this recipe from my recipe book – Everyday Cooking. If you ever see this book I suggest you buy it, it is by Helen Bunney and was a recipe book used by Home Ec departments – so many great recipes (mine was published in 1979 so I doubt it is still in print). Its a great basic recipe that I have made single, 1 1/2 and double batches of and it works every time. My tip is to bake it directly on the serving plate. A pavlova is notoriously hard to change from baking tray to serving tray without cracking – so cut that step out and find a serving plate that is oven safe. I had a wonderful white serving platter I used for years as my pavlova plate but in my new house it doesn’t fit in my oven!
4 Egg whites
1 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoons corn flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Brush tray lightly with water if it is your serving tray – if you are baking pavlova on a different tray to serving spray water onto baking paper. The water creates a steam so to crisp up the bottom for easy transfer.
- Beat egg whites and salt until firm peaks are formed. (meaning when you lift the beaters out of the mix, the egg whites keep their shape)
- Keep beating and add sugar gradually, keep beating after each sugar is added. continue to beat until sugar is dissolved. (to test if the sugar is dissolved rub some between two fingers and check there are no grains left)
- Lightly fold in sifted cornflour and lemon juice.
- Turn mixture onto baking plate and use a spoon to create a circle of approx 20 cms. Or into 6 miniature pavs.
- Bake at 120 degrees for an hour or until pavlova is dry to touch.
- Leave pavlova to cool completely and then dress with whipped cream and strawberries, banana, passionfruit or sprinkle with chocolate.
- TIPS I often leave the pavlova in the oven over night with the door slightly ajar to cool. The slower the pavlova cools the better chance you have of it not cracking. If you baked the pavlova on a different tray to serving tray get someone to help you can left two edges of the baking paper each and transfer onto your serving tray.