Winter Pavlova

If you need a dessert to impress, how about a pavlova? This Australian delicacy is normally a summer dessert, piled high with fresh raspberries or strawberries, but in winter you can use seasonal fruits, at the moment we have plenty of pomegranates and clementines in the shops.

6 large egg whites
400g caster sugar (feinster back zucker)
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a sachet of vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (essig essenz)
2 tablespoons cornflour (maisstärke)

500ml whipping cream

1 pomegranate
juice from 1 orange
3 clementines, peeled and cut into sections
a dash of Aperol
125g sugar

For the meringue base , pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees C. Using an electric whisk or mixer, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a clean, dry bowl until the whites are very airy and at the stiff peak stage. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla whisking constantly until you have a very thick marshmallowy textured mixture. Fold in the cornflour and vinegar. This will stabilize the meringue, otherwise the cooked meringue tends to ooze and collapse. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and heap the meringue onto it in a rough circle, don´t spread it too thin, it should be about 10cm high. The meringue will expand when cooked, so leave a good gap round the edge. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, and leave to cool. Then carefully place the meringue onto your serving plate.

Whip the cream, adding a sachet of ´sahne steiff´since cream here tends to separate when left to stand for a while, although using the higher fat content creme double, if you can find it, will avoid this problem. Spread the cream onto the cooled meringue.

Make a syrup with the orange juice, sugar and the Aperol, heat in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and boil for a couple of minutes until it has slightly thickened, leave to cool. Pile the fruit on top of the pavlova and drizzle with some of the syrup. Serve straightaway.

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