Ever since my trip to New Zealand at the end of last year, where our gracious hostess had left a homemade pavlova in our fridge for our Christmas pudding, I have been tempted to recreate the recipe. And as the pavlova is NZ’s national dessert, there was an abundance of recipes in most of their souvenir and curio shops (such as a very cute apron with the recipe embroidered on the front that my aunt bought). Yet, as friends may know, I have always been a bit wary when it comes to working with egg whites (as in whipping or separating them).
Last weekend though, I felt like it just needed to be done. I just had a craving for that crispy crunchy shell, and the icky-sweet marshmallowy centre, with tangy cooling fruits over the top… Mmmm! Besides that, it has also been a while since I’ve challenged myself with a recipe.
So being the paranoid baker that I am, to prepare the kitchen for whipping meringues in an incredibly humid country (we live on the Equator), I drew all the curtains in the house, put the air-conditioning and de-humidifiers on, and shooed my sister out (body heat, ya know? LOL) of the kitchen. After a good half hour of house conditioning, I felt it was safe to begin…
from an embroidered apron bought in NZ
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 220g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour, sifted
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 150C
- In your thoroughly grease-free large mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, whip the eggwhites (with a pinch of salt) until stiff peaks form (roughly 8-10 minutes depending on the climate)
- Add sugar slowly, whisking well as you go
- Add the cornflour and vinegar, whisk until just combined
- Shape the meringue onto non-stick paper on your baking tray
- Reduce the oven temperature to 120C, bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, after which you prop the oven door open with a wooden spatula, and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven with the oven
- 150ml whipping cream, refrigerated
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 1 kiwi fruit, sliced thinly
- Passionfruit seeds
- Pop your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for up to 10 minutes, then when you’re ready, whisk the whipping cream, vanilla and salt until fluffy (about 8 minutes, do not overwhisk as this will turn into butter)
- Gently (I am telling you three times, gently) pipe or cover the top of the pavlova with the cream, then drizzle over with the passionfruit seeds, and arrange the kiwi slices as you like
Caution: this recipe is VERY sweet, though the texture turned out perfectly! I was so surprised that it worked on my first try, as I fully expected it to only work on the third try. My new oven is a godsend, I swear. My aunt mentioned a way to make it less sweet while retaining that texture… I’m going to give that a shot this weekend, and if it works, I’ll definitely share the recipe with you.
Lots of love,