A warm Christmas lunch means you can leave the heavy pudding for some other time. Bring on the always-in-fashion, always-delicious pav, made here using the best of summer fruit. If you can’t find good, fragrant, fully ripe nectarines, you can always use peaches, or simply load it up with a mixture of berries.
- 6 egg whites
- 360 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 375 g (1½ cups) mascarpone
- 300 ml thickened cream, lightly whipped
- 3 drops rosewater* (optional)
- 40 g (¼ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 250 g raspberries
- 4 nectarines, sliced into thin wedges
- 125 g blueberries
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.
Cooling time 1 hour
Preheat oven to 160°C. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and whisk until thick and glossy. Add vinegar, cornflour and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
Scoop meringue mixture onto the centre of an oven tray lined with baking paper. Using a spatula, spread mixture to form a steep-sided, 24cm round.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 140°C and bake for a further 1½ hours. The meringue shouldn’t brown too much, if at all, so reduce heat if necessary. Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven to cool completely. (Some modern ovens may need to be left ajar so the meringue doesn’t sweat).
Place mascarpone, cream, rosewater, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl and stir until combined; take care not to over-whip the mixture or it will split. Place half of the raspberries in a small saucepan over low heat and cook for 6 minutes or until raspberries break down to a sauce.
Allow to cool, then add to mascarpone mixture and swirl slightly to create a rippled effect. Spread mixture over top of the pavlova, then decorate with sliced nectarines, remaining 100 g raspberries and blueberries.
• Rosewater, from Middle Eastern food shops and select supermarkets, is a musky flavouring that’s made by distilling rose petals.
Photography by Alan Benson
As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2013, Issue 27. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.