Pavlovas are very, very easy. Traditionally, passion fruit, kiwi fruit, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and strawberries are used, but you can use pretty much any soft fruit....mango, watermelon, other berries. You can make nice combinations by choosing, say, just watermelon and blueberries. Personally, I'd skip the passion fruit, partly due to the messiness and partly to taste. ;P
The important thing in making any meringue is to cook it on a DRY day, not in rainy or humid weather. If it's too humid, the meringue will be chewy and dense instead of light and airy. Try and keep what ever's left over in an air-tight container too (in the fridge), but it doesn't really keep all that well.
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Super easy!!!! Just DO NOT open the oven too early when you cook the meringue, and make sure the mixture is actually STIFF before spreading it out. Follow the meringue recipe to the last word and you'll be fine . I made it while babysitting and the kids loved it.
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I read something about grease and meringue not being compatable. I was making royal frosting and the directions were "grease free" bowl & utensils. Washed and dried everything, frosting turned out perfect.
Use glass or metal mixing bowls which have been really well washed with detergant and hot water and allowed to air dry.
Beat your egg whites until they stand in peaks by them selves.
Add suger slowly, beating well between additions.
Use 1 -2 teaspoons of baking powder (and your corn flour) at the end of the beating.
Resulting mixture should be really, really stiff.
Pile it onto baking paper on a baking tray. Make it a circular shape at least 4 " thick. It should easily hold its shape. Some people make baking paper "collars" to go around the pavlova once it is piled onto the tray. Others use a ring like that used for cake tins.
Put it into a already heated oven on a dry day. Cook for an hour at around 150 - 120. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in it overnight while the oven cools. That's teh really important bit!
I usually do pavlova (and meringues) last when I'm cooking, so they sit overnight. When I was small, we had a coal range. Mum would make the pavlova and cook it in the oven of the coal range and not stoke it or add fuel to it so it cooled overnight. Pavlova's usually a summer dessert here, so letting the range go out was always welcome in the middle of summer!
In the morning, cover with really well whipped cream and sliced fresh kiwifruit, strawberries, raspberries, grapes etc.
I've also added cinnamon to the meringue mixture and put a chocolate sauce onto the pavlova before topping it with cream - really yummy, but also very rich. Eat the whole pavlova in one day - that's really not hard!
The outside should be hard and crunchy and the inside soft and gooey. Modern, bought ones are often soft all over.
Pavlova is more often served here for Christmas - so you're a bit late - but I'm sure it will get eaten at any time of the year!
Use eggs that are at least a week old. I could never master the pav until I learnt this tip coz I would look at my huge bowl of fresh, free range, eggs and think a pav was the perfect solution to using a lot up.
OMG was that good! My husband who doesn't eat sweets had two slices. I used a super clean metal bowl and beater and let the eggs warm up to room temp before beating. I will definitely be making this again. My three year old was in heaven!