It’s worth making the pavlova the night before you want to serve it and allowing it to cool completely in the oven (with the door propped open) overnight.
PREPARE: 40 MINUTES, PLUS COOLING TIME
COOK: 2 HOURS 10 MINUTES
250g caster sugar
5 medium egg whites
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp lemon juice
200g double cream
200g Greek yogurt
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
About 500g mixed berries
- Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Mark a 20cm circle on a large sheet of parchment. Place the sugar in a baking tin and place it in the oven for 8 minutes to warm up (this will help it dissolve more quickly in the egg white). Meanwhile put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and using electric beaters (or use an electric stand mixer), beat on medium speed until the mixture forms soft peaks.
- Remove the sugar from the oven and, one spoonful at a time, sprinkle over the egg whites and whisk on medium-high until dissolved and incorporated (at least 30 seconds per spoonful). Continue adding the sugar in small amounts and beating continuously until it has all been added and dissolved in the meringue. It will take a little while but it is important the sugar is dissolved otherwise you may end up with a soft meringue.
- Once all the sugar is added and you have a stiff-peak, glossy meringue, mix the cornflour and lemon juice and sprinkle over the top. Beat in for another minute or until completely incorporated.
- Take the parchment with the marked circle, dab a dot of meringue into each corner of the sheet, then turn over and press the corners to secure it to a large, flat baking tray. Pile the meringue on to the parchment, shaping it within the 20cm circle and smooth the top and sides. Use a spatula or palette knife to shape the sides – in short strokes, drag one edge diagonally upwards around the sides of the meringue to create a scalloped effect.
- Place the meringue in the oven, lower the temperature to 130C/110C fan/gas 1, and bake for 2 hours. Turn off the oven, prop open the door and leave the meringue to cool completely inside the oven.
- For the topping, whisk the cream, yogurt, icing sugar and vanilla to soft peaks and spoon over the top of the pavlova. Tumble over the berries, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
TIP The key to a good pavlova is making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved in the egg white, so take your time when beating it in. It’s ready when you rub a little of the mixture between your fingertips and can’t feel any sugar granules.
Food styling: Sarah Hardy. Styling: Rachel Vere. Creative direction: Chloe Sharp