This pavlova came about through a mish-mash of recipes, so unfortunately I don’t have an exact copy to give you. But let me tell you the story that started this adventure. It was going to be the first time my friend Xiyue and her boyfriend of the time, Maxwell, were going to come to my house and eat with my family and I. I was on tenterhooks. I wanted to impress them. I wanted to give them something amazing, something they’ve never had before. And then it hit me, Pavlova. It’s such a classic dessert here in Australia, and neither of them had ever really heard of it before. It was a labour of love, one which took me several hours of standing there – beating in each tablespoon of sugar until not a single granule was left un-dissolved, etc. But it was worth it.
The evening started with some fresh fruit, leftover from decorating the pavlova. Then we ate some traditional chinese hotpot, prepared by Xiyue and Maxwell. This hotpot is famous in my family, as when Xiyue lived here in my city she would invite me over for dinner all the time, and this was one of my favourites. I told my family about it all the time, so naturally they were excited to get to try it themselves. It was a huge hit. And the pavlova was too. Especially as the shell was perfectly glossy and hard, and the inside had become soft and smooth. Yum!
But for those of you who want a good pavlova recipe, I’ve had success with this one…
Serves: 6, Prep: 1hr 15 mins, Cook: 1hr 30 mins
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300ml thickened cream
- 2 tbs icing sugar mixture, sifted
- Juice and rind of 2 limes
- 2 ladyfinger bananas, thinly sliced diagonally
- 3 golden kiwifruits, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 starfruits, thinly sliced
- Pulp of 2-3 passionfruits
- Preheat oven to 120°C. Line an oven tray with foil. Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour, shaking off excess. Mark a 24cm-diameter circle on foil.
- Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still “gritty” with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.
- Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined. Spoon meringue onto the foil, using the marked circle as a guide. Smooth sides and top of Pavlova.
- Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of Pavlova. Bake in oven for 1hr 30 mins hours or until Pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn off oven.
- Leave Pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.
- Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon cream onto the top of Pavlova.
- Pour lime juice into a ceramic or glass bowl. Add banana slices and toss to coat with juice. Drain. Decorate Pavlova with banana, kiwifruit, star fruit, passionfruit and lime rind.