Fig & Pomegranate Pavlova

Fig & Pomegranate Pavlova

Serves 6-8

Takes 1.5 hours, plus cooling 

Description

Rebecca’s dad, Dave, is king of pavlovas, and is so famed for them that they are regularly requested by friends and family. He even made a stack of pavlovas for her wedding. If you don’t like pistachios, lightly toasted flaked almonds are just as good here. You can also tweak the fruits to suit your tastes and the seasons – in summer, use strawberries, raspberries or roasted

peaches. Blood oranges, passionfruit and mango are also great with clouds of sweet meringue, or try cooked fruits like poached cherries or frozen mixed berries simmered with a little sugar, to spoon over the pavlova when cool. The leftover egg yolks can be used up in the hollandaise.

 

GET AHEAD: You can make the meringue base a day or two in advance but store uncovered, or it will lose its crunch.

Method

1. Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until very firm.
2. Starting spoonful by spoonful, add the sugar, whisking continuously. Once the sugar is all whisked in, and the meringue looks thick, smooth and glossy, add the vanilla extract and vinegar and sprinkle over the cornflour. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl just in case any sugar has sunk. Whisk for 1 minute longer.
3. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), gas mark 3. Draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle on a piece of baking paper. Pour the meringue onto the paper and smooth out to fill the circle. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool – it will deflate a bit but don’t worry.
4. When ready to serve, whip the cream (if you have a powerful stand mixer, be very careful not to overwhip it, or you’ll end up with lumpy cream, or butter). Spoon it over the meringue, then arrange the figs on top. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and pistachios, then drizzle over the pomegranate molasses, being careful not to get it on the meringue. Serve straight away.

Ingredients

• 3 egg whites
• 175g (6oz) caster sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon cornflour
• For the topping
• 300ml (½ pint) whipping cream
• 5 ripe figs, quartered
• 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
• 1 tablespoon roughly chopped pistachios
• 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses