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    Festive Pavlova

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    Festive Pavlova

    Christmas calls for a little bit of showing-off and this ticks every box: marshmallowy meringue, an abundance of fruit and maximum impact as you arrive at the table.

    • Gluten Free
    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 45 minutes + at least 4 hours cooling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes + at least 4 hours cooling

    Serves: 12

    Ingredients

    250g golden caster sugar
    50g dark brown soft sugar
    4 large egg whites (160g), at room temperature
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    300g raspberries (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    65g icing sugar
    500ml double cream
    Selection of fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, figs, oranges, physalis and pomegranate seeds

    Method

    1 Preheat the oven to 150ºC, gas mark 2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and draw a 20cm diameter circle in the centre, using a plate as a template. Flip the paper over (you should still be able to see the circle through the paper). In a small bowl, mix the caster sugar with the brown sugar. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large, clean mixing bowl and use electric beaters to whisk to stiff peaks, then whisk in the mixed sugars, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue is stiff and glossy. It’s ready when you can’t feel grains of sugar between your fingers.

    2 Spoon large mounds to fill the circle in a single layer, creating peaks with the back of a spoon, then spoon more on top, making a slight indent in the middle. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes, then turn off the oven. Leave to cool in the oven for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. 

    3 To make the coulis, put the raspberries in a bowl with the lemon juice and 1 tbsp icing sugar; mash with a fork until runny. Press through a sieve into a clean bowl; discard the seeds. When ready to serve, lift the meringue off the parchment and onto a serving plate. Whisk the cream and the remaining 50g icing sugar to soft peaks, then spoon into the middle of the pavlova. Segment the oranges and cut the figs into wedges, if using. Layer the fruit on top, drizzling over the coulis at intervals, and scattering over the pomegranate seeds at the end.

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