Blackcurrant pavlova

A heavenly combination of sweet and sharp – you won’t be able to resist this

Ingredients (Serves 6)

For the pavlova
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

For the blackcurrants
  • 450g/1lb fresh blackcurrants
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour blended with 2 tsp water
  • 300ml/1/2pt double cream
  • 1 x 200g carton half-fat crème fraîche

First line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper, then, using a pencil, lightly draw a 23cm/9in circle in the middle. Preheat the oven to 110°C, 225°F, Gas 1⁄2.

For the pavlova, whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl until stiff.

Gradually add two-thirds of the sugar, a tablespoonful at a time, whisking between each addition. Mix the cornflour into the remaining one-third of the sugar and add all at once to the eggwhite mix. Whisk until very stiff and glossy. Carefully fold in the vanilla extract and white wine vinegar.

Scoop the meringue into the circle on the baking parchment, pushing it out gently to fill the shape.

Create a dip in the middle then flick the meringue into peaks or swirls around the edge. Bake in the oven for 11⁄4 hours, or until firm and crisp around the edges.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool (it may crack and sink a little). Transfer to a flat serving plate.

Meanwhile, put the blackcurrants into a pan with the water and sugar and gently bring to simmering point. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the juice just begins to run from the fruit and colour the water. Add the cornflour and water mixture and simmer until the juices have thickened. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

When ready to assemble, whip the cream until softly peaking. Fold in the crème fraîche then add half of the blackcurrants and fold about 4 times to create a swirled effect. Pile onto the meringue, gently spreading it to the edge, then spoon over the remaining blackcurrants and syrup.
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