When I was living in Europe – May was one of my favourite months of the year. Spring was here and it meant that summer was just around the corner, and there is nothing in the world more beautiful than a Swedish summer (as long as it’s not raining!)
So today, sitting in Mexico I decided to make this Pavlova with summer berries. This is honestly one of the easiest, yet most eye pleasing deserts that I know – especially if you are entertaining. It looks as though you have been slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon putting this master piece together – but in reality, it is quite the opposite. What is really good about this recipe is that you can use whatever fruit or berries that you have at hand or in season, but raspberries and blueberries are my favourite.
This recipe is from an excellent Swedish cookbook called Anna’s Mat that was given to my parents from our neighbour in Sweden. It is a rather old fashioned cookbook, but every recipe in that book not only works but tastes amazing as well. Which you would think all cookbooks should do…but you would be surprised at how many books I have come across from celebrity chefs – where the presentation looks fantastic but the taste just don’t deliver (ahem Nigella Lawsson….!)
Ok – before I start rambling on and diverging from the topic…here is the recipe for the Pavlova!
- 4 egg whites
- 2 dl sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar (in Sweden you would use ätikasprit)
- 3 dl cream, whipped
- ¼ cornstarch
- 1 punnett of raspberries
- 1 punnett of blue berries
Pre-heat your oven to 140
Grease a cookie sheet with soft butter in a circle, around 26 – 28cm in diameter (I just use a large dinner plate and draw around it) then dust the circle with flour.
Whip the egg white until they are really stiff and form peaks when you remove the beater. Fold down the sugar, then continue to beat the egg whites until you get a lovely shiny gleam to the mixture.
Then mix in the cornstarch and white wine vinegar.
Pour the mixture in the centre of your circle on the baking tray. With a spatula shape your mixture in the circle, making it slightly flatter in the middle and thicker around the edges. For a bit of extra effect, tap the meringue around the edges with your spatula forming peaks – it gives the cake a lovely texture.
Put it in the oven for 1 hour and 15 mins. Turn off the oven and let the cake stand in the oven for at least 30 mins (or until you need to use it). The cake will double in size.
Just before serving, whip the cream and then pour it in the middle of the cake, garnish generously with berries…and serve!
Hope you enjoy it!
PS. A friend of mine pointed out something to me – dl means decileter. There is 100ml to a 1dl – this is a very swedish way of measuring volume and as I just translated the recipe from Swedish to English it didn’t occur to me that this could be confusing.