Kiwifruit take a backseat to quandongs in chef Seth James makeover of the classic Aussie pavlova. The quandongs are simmered in crème de cassis, which adds tartness to the dish, cutting through the sweetness of the cream and meringue. The sorbet keeps the meringue cool and fresh-tasting, making it the perfect dish for a hot Australian summer.
- 300 g egg white
- 440 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
Rose sorbet or granita
- 2 litres water
- 500 g caster sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split lengthways and seeds scraped
- 500 g (2 punnets) strawberries
- 150 g (1 punnet) blackberries
- 150 g (1 punnet) raspberries
- 150 g (1 punnet) blueberries
- 25 ml rose water
- 250 g quandongs (see note)
- 100 ml creme de cassis (blackberry liqueur)
- 500 g thin cream
- fresh berries
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: 2 hours
Freezing time: 3 hours
To make the rose sorbet or granita, combine the water, sugar and vanilla beans in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Wash the berries, halve the strawberries and place in a heatproof container. Once the sugar syrup has come up to the boil, add the rose water, then pour over berries. Cover in plastic wrap and let steep until cool.
Once cool, strain the liquid off and discard the berries. To make a sorbet, churn the liquid in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then place in the freezer until frozen. Alternatively, you can make a granita instead. Place the liquid in a shallow container and freeze. Once frozen, scrape with a fork and freeze until required.
Meanwhile, to make the pavlova, preheat the oven to 140°C (non fan-forced). Whisk the egg white until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, adding the vinegar towards the end.
Gently turn out onto a large baking tray lined with baking paper and mould into a 20 cm x 30 cm rectangular shape. (You can also bake the pavlova in logs if you like.) Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow to cool completely in the oven.
To make the quandong cream, cook the quandongs in the liqueur in a saucepan over low heat until softened and just beginning to collapse, then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Remove from the blender and allow to cool, then fold through the cream. Transfer the mixture to a cream canister and put in three bulbs. Refrigerate until serving. Alternatively, you can simply whip the cream mixture to soft peaks.
To serve, carefully cut the pavlova into portions and place on individual serving plates. Place some quandong cream alongside, a quenelle or scoop of rose sorbet on the other side and scatter over some berries.
• Quandong is a small red native Australian fruit, prized for its high vitamin C content. It has scarlet skin and white flesh.