The Power of the Pav

Berry good pavlova

Australia Day strikes a bittersweet note on our calendar signalling the end of long summer holidays and heralding the return to work and school.

Many Aussies honour the landing of white man onto this great southern land while others prefer to label it Invasion Day, not to mention the New Zealand versus Australia for the ownership of the glorious pavlova!

No matter which side of the ditch you reckon this classic comes from, it’s a national dish here in Oz and one that is so easy to make. It’s a fabulous treat and gluten free, but does have a helluva lot of sugar so go easy.

The pavlova base can be baked a day ahead, top with cream and berries before serving.

6 organic egg whites
2 cups caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
1 punnet berries – strawbs, raspberries, blueberries
1 cup thick cream

  • Preheat your electric oven to 150 C. If you’re using a gas oven however, you’ll need to crank up the fire to 220 C so as to ensure the gas oven is hot when it’s time to bake
  • Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak, then slowly add the vinegar and the sugar about a large spoon at a time using a high speed hand mixer or the good ol’ Kenwood if you’re lucky enough to have one still. The vinegar helps to make a fluffier meringue
  • When you’ve got a sexy, glossy mix going on, you can then fold in the vanilla essence. Quickly and carefully spoon your meringue into either a greased and lined spring-form cake tin or a porcelain flan dish – both work well but the flan version means you don’t have to get it out to serve it and makes it easier to travel to your mate’s BBQ or the beach
  • Turn the gas oven right down to 150 C if using gas then bake the pav for 90 minutes. If using an electric oven, bake at 150 C for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and continue cooking with no heat set for another hour – 105 minutes in total if using electric
  • When cooked, allow to cool and either remove from spring-form or leave in the flan case while you whip the cream, but please don’t add any sugar ‘cos there’s plenty in the pav already
  • When the pav’s cool, spoon over the cream and then add the berries. Or you can do this bit when you get to you destination
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