It pains me to call pavlova ‘pavlova’. Any decent human knows it as ‘pav’.
I had 6 adults and three 4yr olds to feed at lunch today. Obviously the children got shop-bought, over-priced organic icy-poles for pudding. For the adults – some sterling pav.
My mate PP (hi P!) swears by Nigella’s ‘How To Eat’ pav recipe. I’ve tried it three times now. I can subsequently report it’s very reliable as long you, too, are reliable. Ish. I’m relatively reliable but I am also, at the time of writing, about 75% pissed, so I promise no gospel here bar that of my own experience.
Nigella does a few odd things in this recipe. The sugar content is pretty super-high, and she has the oven up high pre-pav entry. She also uses cornflour AND vinegar. OMG NIGELLA WHY SO CONTROVERSIAL?!
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cornflour
250g caster sugar (I always use golden)
600ml double cream
Strawberries, raspberries, kiwi and passion fruit
Separate the eggs, yo. Don’t fuck it up as any yolky ingress will render the whites un-whiskable.
Start to the whisk the whites in a VERY clean bowl. Use an electric mixer of some kind, stand or hand-held, either will do. After a bit begin to add the sugar slowly, as per the video.
Above is a really scientific demonstration of the consistency you’re looking for post-sugar inclusion. Don’t fuck it up.
Add the cornflour, vinegar and about a teaspoon of vanilla and whisk briefly.
It should look like the above when you’re done. It’s a stiff meringue. I never accomplish perfectly smooth raw mix. A bit of sugar graininess is fine, just be sure there’s a glossiness about it. Don’t stress. CHILL OUT FFS IT’S ONLY A PAV.
Dab some meringue onto a baking sheet and place your baking paper on top. This is a Super Fancy Trick to stop the paper moving. Be impressed.
Dollop on the raw meringue in whatever shape you please. I generally prefer some kind of long-ish thing as opposed to circular. Doesn’t matter really though a long log type shape will see you well when it comes to slicing up equal serves. Chuck it in the oven and immediately turn said oven down to 150C. Bake for about 60-65 mins. Then after the allotted time, turn the oven off and leave the meringue in there till it’s 100% cool. Overnight is ace.
See how it’s cracked and fallen in, above? That’s totally fine. Normal. Do not stress. Just let it cool completely before removing from the oven.
Whip 600ml of double cream with a bit of vanilla paste and about a tablespoon of icing sugar, until thick. Splodge on top of the pav. Top with – and this is VERY important – kiwi, raspberry, strawberry and passion fruit. ONLY.
ANYTHING ELSE IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Eat. Eat lots. You should get crispy meringue outside and pillowy marshmallow inside.
It needs eating on the day it’s made, ideally. Follow with a course of confident Stilton and reassuring Port, for total fulfilment.