Meal Type: Dessert
Cook time: 45 Minutes
Aga range cookers make wonderful meringues and a pavlova is a spectacular dessert which is actually very easy to make. Best of all, you can make the meringue base well in advance – all that needs to be done is whip some cream and add your choice of fruit.
I like to top a pavlova with slightly sharp fruits – a lovely contrast to the sweet meringue. I also like to stir a fruit curd into the cream – lemon curd is delicious but if you can find passion fruit curd (or make some), it is particularly good.
Line a baking tray with non stick liner. Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff (but not dry). You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the whites sliding out!
Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time, whisking all the time, until you have a smooth, glossy meringue mixture. Rub the mixture between your fingertips – it should feel totally smooth and not grainy.
Mix the cornflour with the vinegar/lemon juice and stir gently into the meringue mixture.
Spoon the meringue onto the lined baking tray: shape the mixture into a circular nest shape with the edges higher than the centre. I tend to do this by eye but you can draw round a plate onto greaseproof paper if you want a guide. You can also pipe the meringue if you are feeling fancy.
Place a grid shelf onto the floor of the roasting oven and the cold shelf onto the second runners. Slide the baking tray onto the grid shelf and cook for 5 minutes – just long enough for the very edge of the meringue to dry out. Transfer to the simmering oven and continue to cook for 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sit the baking tray on top of the hot plate lids (with a chef pad or tea towel to protect the tops from scratches). Leave to dry out a little further for approx. 45 minutes. The pavlova can now be stored in an airtight container until required.
When ready to serve, lightly whip the cream into soft peaks. Swirl in the passion fruit curd – no need to mix too thoroughly. Gently pile the cream into the centre of the meringue nest and use a spatula or palette knife to spread out. Don’t worry if it cracks a little - this is all part of the charm! Finally, top with the raspberries and serve immediately.
Aga range cooker tips:
- This recipe makes a meringue with a crisp exterior and a chewy, fudgy interior. If you prefer a ‘drier’ meringue, you can leave it on the tops overnight (or in the warming oven, if you have a 4-oven Aga range cooker).
- If you want to make a larger (or smaller) pavlova, simply use 50g sugar to each egg white.
- If you have a baking peel/paddle, it is the ideal implement for sliding the pavlova off the baking sheet and onto a serving platter.
- When making meringue, it is vital that all equipment is scrupulously clean. Any trace of grease in the bowl will prevent the egg whites from whisking properly.
- Pavlova is best eaten straight away – once the cream has been added, the meringue starts to soften. The meringue itself keeps well in an airtight container so can be made in advance.
This fun family recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds.