Perfect Party Pudding!

Fiesta Friday *1

We have just enjoyed a wonderful sunny Bank Holiday Monday in the UK 🙂

This is my stand by celebration pudding and my first choice for gatherings on such occasions, when I want to make something special, but don’t want it take so long that there’s no time do something special as well!

… it takes ages in the oven, but only minutes of preparation time and always looks great.

Strawberry Pavlova - slice

As an added bonus, if you don’t count any of the white bits, it’s full of vitamins and virtually calorie free too!

Having enjoyed reading Fiesta Friday posts and using some of the recipes, I’ve plucked up my courage to join in, conscious that my photography skills are not comparable with other Fiesta participants.  But I’m hoping that I’ll pick up some tips… (I’m relying on you other fiesta-goers for that!)

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So with thanks to with Angie over at Novice Gardiner,

Here I am, knocking on the door of the party house and looking forward to joining in…

http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/fiesta-friday/

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An easy pre-metric way to remember the quantities for meringue used to be to allow 2 oz sugar per egg white – so when I’m making a pavlova for a party, I use 10 eggs and used to use 20 oz sugar… it’s all a bit more tricky now, with grammes – but that’s the idea!

For example, 4 egg whites and 250g caster sugar.

Line your flat baking tray by lining with good quality baking parchment.

Turn the oven on – I set the shelf in the centre and put the oven to the very lowest setting, and ‘cook’ the pavlova over night – it  slowly dries out this way, but you need to make sure you’re not going to need the oven for a late night roast or anything whilst its cooking!

Whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks (that’s a lot of whisking – best to go electric!)

Whisk in sugar, 1 Tbs at a time as this helps stiffen whites further.

Spread about 1/3 of the meringue in a circle to form the base of your Pavlova.

Either ‘blob’ or pipe remaining meringue around the edge, to form the ‘walls’ for the pavlova.

Let it dry out overnight in the oven.

When dried out, lift from baking sheet and carefully place on your serving board or dish.  Fill with cream and fruit and prepare to dazzle your guests – simple!

Strawberry Pavlova - whole

TIPS:  

Some people recommend adding cornflour – this helps keep the meringue soft in the centre.  I don’t do this, because I like to fill mine a few hours in advance and this means that the moisture from the cream softens the meringue a bit anyway (this allows me to focus on the party and relaxing not finishing off the pudding at the last minute!) If you’d like to try this, add 1 tsp sieved cornflour with the last addition of sugar

Others like to add a tsp of vinegar.  Some believe that this keeps the meringue white (I think it’s pretty white anyway!) and also say that it helps the egg whites increase in volume.  If you’d like to try this, add 1 tsp vinegar with the final addition of eggs.

It’s fun to try making flavoured meringue – add some drops of vanilla or rosewater, depending on fruit used.

You can make darker meringue by substituting some of the caster sugar for brown – but this does make them more gooey too!

Add a drop or two of red food colouring and just marble it in lightly for a pretty pink fleck to your meringue.

Interesting fact –

The Pavlova desert is named after the Russian prima ballerina, Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1881-1931).  It was said that her dancing was as though she had wings – so light and airy – hence naming the case for this desert after her.

Strawberry Pavlova - wholeWhat is your easy-peasy party pudding?

Follow the Fiesta-Friday link to see more great foodie posts – and thanks for letting me join in, guys!

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