Perfect Summer Pavlova (using Sarson's vinegar)
I have always said that my mum taught me most of what I know about cooking good food. She has an ability to feed a big family with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of taste.
One of her prides and joy is her pavlova. And she is very particular about how it should be. It has to be crispy and light on the outside, soft and squidgy on the inside. And, for as long as I can remember, she has used Sarson’s malt vinegar as one of the ingredients. It stabilises the egg whites and prevents them over exploding in the oven like a soufflé. The other key ingredient is cornflour, which ensures the middle of the meringue stays soft.
I was asked a couple of months ago by Sarson’s to head up their cookery school day in London and come up with four original recipes that were beyond the classic fish and chips. A variation on my mum’s pavlova was one of the first things which came to mind. Over the coming days, I will also be publishing my sticky sweet chicken wings, my original take on fish and chips, as well as salt’n’vinegar popcorn. All of these delicious recipes showcase how versatile Sarson’s vinegar is, and why it can be used on so much more than chips.
As for this pavlova, well it is pretty-well foolproof and will impress family and guests alike. At the cookery school, me and the guests made EIGHT of them – they were all perfect, even with the intervention of all our young children. That’s why, as with all my recipes, they are stress-tested in the toughest environments and they always work!!
300ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
Optional – grated chocolate or extra icing sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 150ºC/130ºC fan/gas 2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until they form stiff peaks. Slowly, whilst still whisking, add in the sugar, around one third at a time, until the meringue looks glossy.
Sift in the cornflour and add the vinegar – fold in with a metal spoon.
Trace round a 20cm plate on the parchment paper and scoop the whisked meringue onto it to create a round pavlova shape. With the back of a metal spoon, make a dip in the centre.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Open the oven door, turn off the heat and let the meringue cool completely inside the oven.
In the meantime, wash and chop the strawberries. Whisk the double cream and icing sugar until just thickened. Carefully transfer the meringue from the baking tray onto a large plate. Spread over the whipped cream and top with the strawberries, raspberries and kiwi or pear. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or dust with a little extra icing sugar and serve.
Disclosure: I was paid by Sarson’s to create the recipes for this event and campaign