Summer fruit pavlova nests
Summer fruit pavlova nests. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography
- Makes: 6
- Cooking Time: 60 mins
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: French
- 3 egg whites (reserve the yolks for the curd)
- 175g caster sugar
- 1tsp cornflour
- 1tsp white wine vinegar
- FOR THE LEMON CURD:
- 40g butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice
- 3 egg yolks
- FRUIT TOPPING:
- 300g summer fruits (any colourful berries and tropical fruits)
- 200ml whipped cream
1. To make the pavlova nests: Preheat an oven to 100 degrees. Line one large baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper, outlining six circles (about 10cm diameter) with a pencil.
2. Place the egg whites in a spotlessly clean, grease-free mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk on high speed until the egg whites form soft white peaks. Use a large spoon to gradually add the caster sugar until fully incorporated and the mixture is glossy and voluminous. Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar and keep whisking for about 10 minutes until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Create meringue nests inside the drawn out circles. Do this either by using a dessert spoon to dollop mounds of mixture on to the circle and then creating an indent in the centre. Alternatively, transfer the egg-white mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe the mixture into nests.
4. Bake on the lowest shelf of the preheated oven for one hour, resisting the temptation to open the oven door. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlovas inside the oven to cool fully. Once they are cool gently, peel away the paper attached to the base and set aside in an airtight container until ready to use.
5. To make the lemon curd: melt the butter in a small, heavy-based saucepan on a low heat. Once melted, stir in the sugar, lemon zest and juice until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and slowly pour the hot mixture over them, whisking as you do so. Transfer the curd back to the saucepan and stir over a low heat until the mixture has thickened. Allow to cool fully, then keep chilled until needed.
6. When ready to serve, place the pavlova nests on individual serving plates (or a large platter). Fill with whipped cream, then decorate with any selection of summer fruit and a drizzle of lemon curd. Serve immediately.
Ripe stone fruits such as nectarines, peaches and plums are also delicious served with meringues and cream. Try sliced pears drizzled with chocolate sauce.