Australia/New Zealand Pavlova

Pavlova (Photo by distopiandreamgirl/flickr)

Being careful not to attribute this famous dessert to one country or the other. For the softer, higher Australian pavlova, pile the meringue thickly, about 6 cm (2 1/2 in) high. For the slightly flatter but crisper New Zealand version, spread it out a bit more thinly into a larger circle.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

whites of 4 large fresh eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250 g/8 oz/1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
300 ml/10 fl oz whipping cream
125 ml/4 fl oz passionfruit pulp, sweetened
3 ripe bananas, sliced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
ripe red strawberries, halved lengthways

Directions

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (450 degrees F). Line a baking tray with non-stick paper and mark a circle about 18 cm (7 in) in diameter. Put egg whites into large, very clean bowl (the slightest hint of grease and they will not whip up as they should). Whisk egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and vanilla essence with an electric mixer until stiff, add sugar by tablespoons while beating and when all the sugar is added and the meringue is glossy and thick, stir in the vinegar and cornflour. Pile onto the baking tray and smooth the top. Turn oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) before putting meringue in and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until outside is firm but not browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool before topping with whipped cream, passionfruit pulp and any or all of the fruit.


Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)