TROPICAL FRUIT PAVLOVA

(c) Matt Russell

Ingredients (serves 10/12)

For the meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • 285g sugar

For the topping

  • 600ml double cream
  • 5 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
  • 200g raspberries
  • 200g strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 200g blueberries
  • Flesh from half a mango, in 1cm cubes
  • 3 passionfruit, pulp only
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional)

Essential equipment

  • Large baking sheet, lined with baking paper
  • Piping bag with a large star nozzle 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Draw an A4 rectangle (using a piece of A4 paper as a guide) on the baking paper that lines the baking sheet. This will be the size of your meringue.

To make the meringue, place the egg whites in a large, metal mixing bowl and whisk using a hand- held electric mixer to stiff peaks. Many people whisk the whites to medium peaks and then add the sugar, but I find it better to add the sugar only when the whites are stiff. Continuing whisking on a medium speed and add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking for 5 seconds or so after each addition and resisting the temptation to hurry the process. Once the sugar is well incorporated, your meringue should be stiff and very glossy. 

Spoon two-thirds of the meringue on to the baking paper and spread into the A4 shape. Put the remaining meringue in the piping bag and pipe little peaks all the way round the edge of the meringue.

Place the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 130°C/Gas -. Bake for 75 minutes, then turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, with the door slightly ajar.

To make the topping, whisk the cream to soft, floppy peaks and spoon over the meringue. I only do this minutes before serving so that the meringue stays crispy and chewy. Place the prepared fruits on top, dribbling the pulp of the passionfruit over last. Finish with a sifting of icing sugar, if you like.

TIPPlastic bowls tend to hang on to grease and fats, whereas metal bowls are easier to clean and are therefore better for making meringue. To ensure total cleanliness of the metal bowl, dab a little kitchen roll in vodka and wipe the insides of the bowl with it.