Summer fruit pavlova
Looking for a make-ahead dessert that delivers the wow factor without much effort? A pavlova is your best bet, and we've created the ultimate version with summer berries
- Serves: 6 persons
- 4egg whites
- ½lemon, juiced (you’ll need 1 tbsp juice; reserve the squeezed lemon half)
- 200g caster sugar
- 2tsp cornflour
- 400g strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered if large
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- small squeeze of lemon juice
- 200g raspberries
- handful of redcurrants (optional)
- handful of small mint or basil leaves (or use a mixture)
- 300g full-fat crème fraîche
- 25g icing sugar
- ¼tsp vanilla extract
Step 1If you’re using fresh eggs and you have time, freeze the egg whites, then defrost completely (see tip, ‘freeze for ease’, below). Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and heat the oven to 120C/100C fan/gas ½. Using a 20cm cake tin or plate as a guide, draw a circle on the parchment, then flip it over.
Step 2Rub the reserved lemon half around the inside of a large bowl. Tip in the egg whites and whisk using an electric whisk until small, foamy bubbles form, about 1-2 mins. Continue to whisk until the egg whites resemble shaving foam, then add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue is thick and glossy. Rub a dab between your fingertips – if you can feel any grains of sugar, keep whisking for a few minutes more. Add the cornflour and lemon juice, then whisk for another 30 seconds.
Step 3Spoon the meringue mix into the middle of the circle template, then use a palette knife to spread it out to fill the circle, creating a dip in the middle (this will hold the topping later). Run the palette knife up the edges at regular intervals to create ridges, if you like. Bake for 1 hr, then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova to cool completely with the door shut (if you can, leave it overnight).
Step 4For the topping, tip the strawberries into a bowl, dust with the icing sugar and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Mix together and leave to stand for 30 mins. Meanwhile, whisk the ingredients for the cream together until thick and pillowy. Gently stir the raspberries and redcurrants, if using, through the strawberries. Spoon the cream into the middle of the pavlova, then top with the fruit, drizzling over any juice. Scatter over the mint or basil before serving.