The most summery dessert. Strawberries are a spring delight here in Cyprus. Mild winters and gorgeous springs are ideal conditions for this delicious fruit to grow and ripen. Summer is a time for cherries and peaches and grapes and other lovely things. You can improvise and make this dessert with whatever fruit you fancy.
For the meringue
- 150 grams eggwhites
- 220 grams granulated or caster sugar
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the filling
- 400 ml whipping cream
- 80 grams icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 500 grams strawberries
- 1-2 Tbs pistachios, roughly ground
Preheat oven to 130 C fan. On a piece of greaseproof paper, draw a 23 cm circle (use the base of a cake pan).
Make sure your egg whites have no traces of egg yolk and are at room temperature. Clean and dry the mixer bowl thoroughly. Place egg whites in mixer bowl and whip at medium speed until frothy. Add the sugar gradually (I do it in 4-5 batches) and increase the mixer speed to high. Whisk until stiff.
Add vanilla, cornflour and vinegar. Keep whisking until meringue is very stiff and holds its shape.
Using your finger, put small dollops of meringue on the four corners of the greaseproof paper. This will help stick the paper on a baking tray.
Transfer meringue on the paper, in the centre of the circle. Shape it with a spatula using the circle as a guide. I like a rustic look so I leave the meringue looking “messy”. Using your spatula, make an shallow indent in the center.
Bake meringue for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside until oven is completely cool. I usually bake the meringue at night, switch off the oven and go to bed.
When ready to assemble the pavlova, whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Slice the strawberries in quarters leaving a few whole.
Place meringue carefully on a serving platter. Put cream in the centre. Top with the strawberries and sprinkle with pistachios or icing sugar. If your meringue breaks during this process, dont stress. That’s part of the beauty of this dessert. You can make Pavlova 3 hours in advance.