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Sunday, 30 June 2013

PAVLOVA

Good Morning to you,


I've had a busy week this week.... sitting, yes that's right, sitting. Well, it is not as bad as it sounds, as  I have been sewing little Polly's welcoming quilt, which is coming along quite nicely. I have also been watching and enjoying the tennis being played at Wimbledon.
  
The  tennis  has  been played  between the  sunshine and the  showers and there have been some  exciting developments. Some of the big seeds, such as Roger Federa  and  Rafael Nadal  have been beaten, which was quite a shock, as they  are  tremendous  players. A number of tennis players have  had  to  withdraw, due to injury,  but  I  am  pleased  to  tell  you,  that Andy  Murray,   from  Scotland,  is  playing  some marvellous tennis and  is through to the next round.

Apart from tennis, what is the first thing which comes to mind, when you think of Wimbledon. Would it be, strawberries and cream with a glass of champagne.

I cannot offer you champagne, but I can offer you strawberries and cream, presented in a slightly different way,


..... a Pavlova, which is a delicious mixture of  meringue, which is soft and gooey on the inside, and crisp on the outside, layered with double cream and strawberries, oh yes and a few blueberries and raspberries added for good measure. I think if you have a sweet tooth you will love this dessert.

This delicious meringue based dessert, some say was created in Australia in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova and some people say it was created in New Zealand.  Whoever created it, I give my thanks, as I love this dessert.


Today, there is no music, as I need to get a wiggle on, as I am looking forward to watching the tennis this afternoon.  I have even brought out the "big guns" ..... namely my Kitchen Aid, to allow me to do the job of mixing the egg whites a lot quicker, so my hand whisk is languishing in the drawer..... until it is needed to hand whisk the cream, so without further ado, let's put on our aprons and get started.

INGREDIENTS
FOR MERINGUE


4 medium sized egg whites
6 oz (175g) caster sugar
1 level tablespoon of cornflour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

 Using baking parchment,
cut an 8 inch (20cm) circle

1 circular baking pan

Pre-heat oven to 130 C 


Place the egg whites into a bowl
and whisk until the egg whites
form stiff peaks.


Continue whisking the egg whites and
add the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at 
a time, until the meringue is
stiff and glossy.
Add the cornflour, vanilla extract
and white wine vinegar


and whisk until combined,
this will take about a minute.


Put a little meringue onto the 
baking pan to secure
the parchment paper.
Don't be scared, this does work.


Spoon the meringue onto the
parchment paper
following the circle, but do not
go over the circle as you will
not be able to remove the meringue
from the baking sheet. I left
about 1/2 inch all the way around.

Once you have created your circle
fill in the centre with meringue.
Make a slight dip in the centre.
(This is going to hold your fruit and cream)


Place in the pre-heated oven and
bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Until the meringue is firm
at the edge and slightly 
soft in the centre.
You will see a little crack has formed
on my baked meringue, don't worry
as this does happen.
Allow to cool and remove the baking 
parchment at the base of the meringue.

INGREDIENTS
FOR TOPPING


450 g (1 lb) strawberries
225 g  (8 oz)  blueberries
125 g (4 1/2 oz) raspberries 
(sorry I forgot to add the raspberries
to the photograph)


500 ml (16 fl oz)  double cream


Wash and dry fruit
Reserve 3 strawberries and
cut the rest of the strawberries into quarters


Whip the double cream until 
soft peaks form


Fold in two thirds of the strawberries
and blueberries
Keep the raspberries to decorate the top
of the dessert


Spoon the cream and fruit onto the meringue
Arrange the reserved fruit on top


Cut the Pavlova and place on a 
plate and decorate with
extra fruit

or 


spoon Pavlova into a martini glass

pick up your spoon,
and dive in!


There are a few things I would like to mention.  If you are making a Pavlova for a family occasion, which I often do, I double the ingredients, as you do not want to make a small one, as I promise you, people will want more.  Remember to increase the size of the parchment paper as well.

You can make the meringue the day before you need it. Store in a cool, dry place and then decorate the following day. 

.... and finally, please don't worry when the meringue cracks, as it is impossible to keep it from cracking as the meringue is not hard and crispy like the shop bought meringues, this is soft and chewy and gorgeous, trust me once you have made this Pavlova, you will never buy shop bought meringues again.

Have fun decorating the Pavlova with your favourite fruit as that is the fun of home baking, you can add just what you like.

My taster this week is Uncle Ted who is 82 years old. I rang and asked him if he could eat cream, I described the dessert and he said "Yes hinny, it sounds great".... hinny is a North East saying which is a term of endearment.  So we packed half the Pavlova in a Tupperware box (yes I still have Tupperware) and George popped it down to him. George said, when Uncle Ted opened the box his eyes lit up, so I think it is safe to say he was pleased with his gift.

Oh yes, before I forget, I used the three egg whites which I froze last week, plus one other which I had already frozen.  I defrosted them overnight in the fridge and brought them up to room temperature during the morning.... and they worked like a dream, so you see there is no need for wastage.

Take care and I will see you later in the week,

This week I will be joining,


and





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