australia day pavlova

Recipe

❤ Australia Day or anyday Pavlova

Ingredients

4 egg whites

230 grams (8 ozs) of caster sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

1 level dessertspoon of sifted cornflour

pinch of salt

Method + Top Tips

Preheat oven to moderately hot 200°C (400°F) and then set at very slow 120°C (250°F). Cut a round piece of baking paper to place meringue mixture on to bake.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt for 5 - 6 minutes.

Gradually adding salt, caster sugar, vinegar and vanilla extract - beating until stiff.  Sift cornflour and fold in lightly with a metal spoon.  Heap mixture on to baking paper on cooking tray.

Cook until outside is quite firm but not browned - approximately 1½ hours. Turn off oven and leave pav inside with door ajar till completely cooled. 

 

Spoon on or fill with cream or ice-cream - as you desire. Yoghurt cream is lovely too - 1 cup whipped cream & ½ cup plain yoghurt folded together. Toss the strawberries hulled and halved in icing sugar. You can atop your pav with sliced bananas, crushed pineapple, passionfruit or a fruit salad mix of all these.

Essential tip: Make sure your bowl is very clean, completely dry and stainless steel is best for beating egg whites. Eggs at room temperature. And I don’t use eggs just laid.  Sometimes I think these beauties are just ‘too fresh’ for making meringue. I use my old 6 speed hand held mixer or KitchenAid whisk attachment. Adding the sugar very gradually ensures egg whites stay aerated. Use a very flat tray or ceramic pav stone for the best results and very slow oven.

 Seasonal Jotting

In case you didn’t know, yesterday was Australia Day - January 26th. Now, more than ever in my memory, Aussies are celebrating in a big way.  The Australia Day Long weekend is an important event on our Summer Calendar. A time to sing the praises of our great country and cheer on Aussies fighting for a spot in the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam. Not to be this year - but Lleyton and Bernard put on a great show! :(

I remember my first visit to the US as a child and the overwhelming patriotic spirit on display, every street corner, so many flag-poled homes.  Us Aussies have always been very proud of our flag but it’s only in recent years that we’ve started to wave it with such vigour and in such larger numbers.

Aussie cuisine, like our population is growing rapidly. Last Australia Day over 13,000 people from 143 countries became Aussie citizens. It was terrific to read in this morning’s paper that Maggie Beer is the most highly regarded ‘Beer’ in Australia. She’s a household name here down under, our home grown gourmet produce entrepreneur. Maggie was appointed Member of the Order of Australia at the awards ceremony. Congratulations Maggie! And thank-you for championing Aussie produce with so much passion and class.

Our annual Australia Day Picnic with family and friends at Weka Weka was cancelled. It hasn’t stopped raining here all week.  Our hinterland region received 600mm in 3 days! Streams are raging rivers, roads are blocked and access is near impossible. The weeds are jumping for joy. Duck weather.

Only option was to stay put, dig out my old pavlova plate and prep some summer berries.  This year I served my pav and berries with freshly made local gelato - from My Gelato at Kirra Beach. This delightful, recently arrived Italian family make their gelato artigianale daily and its flavour is unbeatable. Peach Sorbet & Passionfruit Yoghurt Gelato were the perfect accompaniment to the pav. While waiting for a take-home pack, I thought I'd best sample their newest flavour. Quella Arancia, a nutella choc ganache that perfectly covers a subtle orange zested gelato beneath.

Che buono. Grazie Davide. Where would Australia be without our migrants, their special skills and hard work. Happy Australia Day to all!