The Pavlova is a tried and tested classic; always a lovely light way to end a meal. They say this dessert comes from Australia and you can imagine, with all that heat, the last thing you crave is a big, sticky dessert. My happiest memory of Pavlova was in a small Swiss village. It was served as the perfect finale after a massively satisfying (but filling) fondue session!
The great thing about this dessert is that you can use any fruit that´s in season, so the topping changes it´s appearance and of course the flavour combination. Some people find Pavlova too sweet, but I have quite a sweet tooth, so it always works for me! To make a lighter version, just omit the sugar from the rum cream mixture. The quantities shown here made enough for 8 individual desserts.
1 mango, diced
1 banana, diced
4 kiwis, diced
15g dried goji berries
6 mint sprigs, shredded
1 lime, juice only
4 egg whites
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
Rum cream ingredients:
350 thick cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 lime, zest only
Preheat the oven to 120º. To make the meringues whisk the egg whites using a hand mixer, until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time and whisk each time, until the mixture is thick. Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk quickly one last time.
Spoon out nest shapes of meringue mixture onto baking paper on a baking tray. The meringues will spread so leave room in between them to expand. Bake them for 1 1/2 hours until they are crisp. Turn off the oven and let them dry out as the oven cools down. They continue to cook in this time. If you take them straight out of the oven, they may end up chewy!
Meanwhile, whisk the rum cream ingredients, until it is thick (but don´t over beat it).
In a separate bowl, cut and dice the fruit and combine in a bowl with the lime juice and chopped mint.
Chars tip: Chop and add the mint at the last minute, otherwise it starts to go brown. Always save a small sprig to decorate the top.
Spoon the cream onto the meringues, top with fruit and serve straight away! The combination of lime, mint and rum, gives the dish a real mojito feel!
Another alternative topping was mango with raspberry and blood orange. This time I served it with a blood orange coulis and Oreo dust.