Brighten up your day with this delicious fruit-packed elderflower, strawberry, mint and pistachio pavlova from Bake Off star Crystelle Pereira.
2 tsp white wine vinegar, plus extra for cleaning the bowl
180g fresh egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar
360g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
STRAWBERRY, ELDERFLOWER AND MINT COULIS
30 mint leaves
2 tbsp caster sugar
200g strawberries, finely chopped
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
200g fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
20g chopped pistachios
10 mint leaves
250ml double cream
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
20 mint leaves, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 120C/100C fan/gas 1⁄2. Wipe a large mixing bowl with vinegar to ensure it is clean and dry. Weigh the egg whites into the bowl and add the cream of tartar. With the beaters set to medium, whisk for 3-4 minutes until you get soft peaks.
- Lower the beater speed and add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, ensuring each spoonful is dissolved before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a clean spatula from time to time.
- Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed and whisk until the meringue is thick, glossy and holds stiff peaks. To test, take a small amount of the meringue and rub between your fingers – continue whisking if it feels grainy.
- While whisking the egg whites, mix 2 tsp cornflour and 2 tsp vinegar in a small bowl to form a slurry. Once the meringue is ready, add this plus the vanilla and whisk until incorporated.
- Put the meringue in a piping bag with a large round nozzle (or cut the end of the bag to make a medium-sized circle). Secure a large sheet of greaseproof paper to a baking tray using some of the meringue, then pipe a 23cm circle on to the paper. Pipe the remaining meringue into the middle of the circle then pipe around the edges so it is slightly higher on the sides and lower in the centre. (You could also spoon the meringue into a 23cm circle on the paper and flatten the centre slightly with an offset spatula.) Bake for 2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool overnight.
- For the coulis, pound the mint leaves and sugar in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. Add to a saucepan with the strawberries and elderflower then set over a low heat. Use a potato masher to break down the strawberries. Cook for 6 minutes until thickened, then set aside to cool.
- When ready to assemble the pavlova, prepare the toppings. Toss the sliced strawberries in the elderflower cordial and leave to one side. Put the pistachios in a dry pan and heat for 10 minutes until toasted. Remove, bash lightly and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Stir in the elderflower and chopped mint leaves until just combined. Spread this over the pavlova then drizzle on the coulis. Scatter over the strawberries, followed by the pistachios and mint. Serve immediately.
TIP The coulis can be made a day in advance.