I have been introduced to a pavlova for the first time around six or seven years ago. For someone that loved a good meringue it was love at first sight. And what better time to bake something so glorious than for Christmas?
When I think about Christmas though, the first thing that comes to mind is a large table full of food and my family sitting around. Food has always been a spotlight, mostly during the festivities.
Of all the sweets we usually have during Christmas, Pandoro and Torrone are usually the ones you can always find. Not exactly the same, but why not try something new?
So here’s the recipe from Saltnpepperhere. It’s easy and delicious! All you will have to do is arm yourself with patience because it does take quite a lot to cook, but nothing a good book can’t help with!
- FOR THE MERINGUE:
- 4 large fridge-cold egg whites (147 ml)
- 1 cup superfine caster sugar
- 1 tsp white vinegar OR pinch cream of tartar
- FOR TOPPING:
- 1.5 cup whipping cream (350 ml)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 walnut halves
- FOR CARAMEL :
- 250 g white sugar
- FOR SUGARED FRUITS:
- 100 g brown sugar
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- Before starting, make sure your bowl and whisk are clean of any water or grease. In a large bowl, divide the yolk and the white of the eggs while still cold. Make sure no yolk is inside as it will impact the meringue. Leave the whites to cool to room temperature to get them fluffier later.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F. Draw an 8 inches circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Flip the drawn side on the baking tray.
- Whisk the egg whites on high until you reach soft peaks - the whites are starting to hold but don't stand on their own. Add the sugar gradually by the spoon. Continue beating the mix for another 2-3 minutes after you added all the sugar until thick and glossy and all the sugar is dissolved. Rub a bit of it between your fingers to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Stir the vinegar OR cream of tartar until mixed.
- Dab a bit of meringue on the four underside corner of the parchment paper to avoid it from lifting. Scoop half of the meringue on the centre of the circle and start shaping with a spatula. Add the rest of the meringue and create some waves on the side. In the centre, create an inch deep space where you're going to add your filling.
- TURN THE OVEN DOWN TO 250 F. Bake without opening the oven for 1.5 hours. Turn off the oven at the end and wedge a wooden spoon to keep the oven door slightly ajar. Let the pavlova rest to completely cool down (it will take around 3 hours) or leave overnight to fill the day after. If in a hurry you can cool it down outside on a rack, but it might crack more.
- When ready to decorate, in a small pot over low heat add the sugar and let it caramelise (it will take around 15 minutes). Keeping it on low heat while using it and check it oven as it can burn easily. Dip the walnut one by one and leave to dry on parchment paper. If you have any excess of caramel, you can spread it on the paper or form strings of it to decorate.
- Slice the lemon and the orange and place them on some parchment-covered baking trays. Cover with sugar and honey. Bake at 380 F for 20 minutes, turn them around and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Whip the cream in a bowl until thick, then add the vanilla and mix well. Once ready to serve, spoon the whipped cream in the middle of the meringue where you previously left space. Arrange the sugared citruses and walnuts on top. Add the remaining caramel decorations on top.
The original recipe calls for two different meringue circles, but I opted for a single one as it served better the idea I had in mind.
Pavlova is a world-famous delight of crisp outside and soft inside that you can’t pass. Created during the 1920s in honour of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova during her tours of New Zeland and Australia.
No matter the fact that it’s been a hundred years from its creation, pavlova still goes strong and it’s traditional during Christmas – but also eaten during the rest of the year. Because why limiting it just for a day?
Hope you enjoyed this recipe. Let me know in the comments if you have already found your perfect combo for your pavlova or have any ideas to suggest. I am always open to trying something new!
And if you still have any doubts or spot to fill on the table, check some more Christmas recipes over here! And some more entertaining ideas for the holidays over here!
Hope you’re all having a great Christmas Eve that you’re with your loved ones or alone. Stay safe and enjoy!