Earlier in the week my husband attended his first ever Thanksgiving lunch at his work. To give it an Aussie twist he took along an Aussie favourite dessert, Pavlova. This old Australian classic was new and well received by his American friends, so here is the recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, if you think you might like to try it out at home.
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups castor sugar (superfine white sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 cups cream (heavy whipping cream), whipped
250g (1/2 lb) strawberries, halved or quartered
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 F). Place the egg whites in an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form (hand beaters work just as well). Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking for 30 seconds before adding another tablespoon. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk for a further 6 minutes until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the vinegar and whisk for a further 2 minutes or until glossy and combined.
Draw a 26cm circle on a sheet of non stick baking paper and place on a baking tray.* Place large spoonfuls of the meringue mixture into the circle. Reduce temperature to 120C (250F) and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow Pavlova to cool completely in the oven. Top the pavlova with cream and strawberries.
*The easiest way to do this is to trace around a dinner plate.
It is really important to allow the pavlova to cool down slowly in the oven. If you take it straight out of the oven without it completely cooling first, the sudden change in temperature will cause your pav to crack and sink in to itself. If your pav does crack, don’t despair. Simply cover the cracks with cream and you won’t be able to see it. Trust me, it will still taste good.
Instead of strawberries, try changing the fruit on the top. Kiwi fruit, banana, rasberries, blueberries, and cherries all work really well. My mum used to shave peppermint crisp over the top. Yum!