I always struggle to find light desserts to serve at the end of a meal as most people tend to like chocolate-based desserts. If you don’t like the bitterness of the grapefruit it can be substituted with orange or any other citrus, but I suggest giving it a try as I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The pink grapefruit in this pavlova has a lovely bitter flavour that cuts through the sweetness of the meringue and balances a rich meal.
- 7 egg whites, at room temperature
- 375 g (13 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) thin (pouring) cream
- 50 g (1¾ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 4–5 pink grapefruit, segmented (see Note)
- 300 g (10½ oz) good-quality Turkish delight, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp pistachio nuts, lightly toasted and crushed
- edible dried rose petals, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Spray a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 in) cake tin with non-stick oil and line with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites for 2–3 minutes, until soft peaks form. With the machine running, slowly add the caster sugar and then whisk for a further 8–10 minutes, until firm and glossy. Use a metal spoon to fold in the vinegar and rosewater.
Spoon the meringue mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for exactly 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Don’t worry if the meringue looks a bit rustic when you take it out of the oven.
Put the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
To assemble, cut the meringue in half so there are two 20 x 15 cm (8 x 6 in) pieces. Put one piece on a serving plate and top with half the mascarpone mixture, half the grapefruit segments and half the Turkish delight. Top with the remaining meringue, then the remaining mascarpone mixture, grapefruit and Turkish delight. Scatter the pistachios and rose petals over the top.
• To segment the citrus: cut off the top and bottom of the fruit. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the skin and white pith, following the line of the fruit. Remove each segment by slicing either side of the membrane.
It is good to do this over a bowl to capture any juice that comes out of the fruit.
Hummus and Co by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99) Photography by Alan Benson.