Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite says:
My mum has to be the best Pavlova maker in the world. Since I was a tiny tot she has made the gooiest, fluffiest meringue and she isn’t one to faff about either - she adds nothing but egg white and sugar, and lets the oven do the work. She makes a Pavolva every year for the Christmas dinner table, and when we eat it, we are silent. It truly does bring a moment of sheer serenity to the end of a rowdy family feast. In fact this is one of the first ever baking ratios she taught me: 2oz sugar to every large egg white. This recipe is dedicated to you mum, without whom my love of food would never have existed. I love you.
5 Egg Whites
285g Sugar For the topping
600ml Double cream
5 Kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
200g Strawberries, hulled and halved
Peeled flesh from half a mango, in 1cm cubes
3 Passion fruit
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of baking paper, and draw around an A4 piece of paper onto the baking paper. This will be the size of your meringue.
To make the meringue place the egg whites into a large, metal mixing bowl and whisk using a handheld electric mixer to stiff peaks. Many people whisk the whites to medium peaks and then add the sugar, but I find it essential 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. Once the sugar is well incorporated your meringue should be stiff and very glossy.
Spoon ⅔ of the meringue onto the baking paper and spread into the A4 shape. Place the remaining meringue into a disposable piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe little peaks all the way around the edge of the meringue. Place the meringue into the oven and immediatey reduce the temperature to 120C/gas mark ½. Bake for 75 minutes, then turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
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, and dribble over the pulp of the passion fruit. Finish with a sifting of icing sugar.
Tip: When making meringue plastic bowls tend to cling on to grease and fats whereas metal bowls are easier to clean. To ensure total cleanliness of the metal bowl, soak a little kitchen roll in vodka and wipe the insides of the bowl.