Cooking with Colm O'Gorman: Pride Pavlova

'This gorgeous celebration dessert uses fresh fruit to recreate the colours of the rainbow flag, and it tastes as good as it looks'
Cooking with Colm O'Gorman: Pride Pavlova

June is Pride month. Across the world LGBTQ people and their allies will parade, party and protest to celebrate the freedoms we have won in recent decades and to demand change where those same freedoms are still denied

The first Pride has its origins in the Stonewall Riots, a spontaneous uprising against police harassment of the LGBTQ community in Manhattan, New York. Sick of the oppression and brutality they suffered at the hands of the police, LGBTQ people fought back, and a worldwide movement was born. The events of that day, June 28, 1969, were the spark that has inspired generations of LGBTQ activists and their allies.

The pandemic has meant that the parades have been virtual for the past two years, but we continue to see more and more people join in the spirit of Pride. It seems like rainbow flags are flying pretty much everywhere and everyone is looking to get in on the party. Pride is still a protest though, and that still matters. Just this month we have seen how fragile progress can be, how quickly rights and freedoms can be attacked and undermined. Last week Hungary passed laws which attack and stigmatise LGBTQ, presenting us as a danger to children and a threat to society.

Sixty-nine countries still criminalise LGBTQ people. Six countries still have laws which provide for the death penalty a punishment for being gay, five of the six still kill us for who we are. The battle is not over yet.

We have come a long way since 1969 though, and we do have much to celebrate. One of the wonderful impacts of the marriage referendum result here six years ago has been that Ireland, as a state, has become a champion of LGBTQ rights. In its work as a member state of the United Nations and other international fora, and in acts of solidarity and support with LGBTQ communities who face specific threats and discrimination in many parts of the world, Ireland has shown real leadership. Something else we can celebrate here at home this Pride season.

And we should celebrate. No matter who you are, or who you love, there is much to celebrate in the fact that you live in a country where you are free to be you, to live and love without fear of criminalisation or discrimination. Ireland is a better country for us all because of that.

Of course, in the absence of a parade again this year, we must create our own parties once again. Which takes me to this week’s recipe, my stunning Pride Pavlova.

This gorgeous celebration dessert uses fresh fruit to recreate the colours of the rainbow flag, and it tastes as good as it looks. This recipe is meant for a party, so there are ten to twelve generous portions here. Reduce the quantities if you wish, or better yet, go for it and just indulge. It is a celebration after all.

Pride pavlova

recipe by:Colm O’Gorman

This gorgeous celebration dessert uses fresh fruit to recreate the colours of the rainbow flag, and it tastes as good as it looks

Pride pavlova

Servings

10

Preparation Time

20 mins

Cooking Time

2 hours 0 mins

Total Time

2 hours 20 mins

Course

Dessert

Cuisine

Irish

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs

  • 250g caster sugar

  • 1tsp vanilla essence

  • 2tsp white wine vinegar

  • 500ml double cream

  • 3 passion fruit

  • 125g purple grapes and/or cherries

  • 100g blackberries

  • 125g blueberries

  • 3 kiwis

  • 3 oranges

  • 150g fresh pineapple

  • 150g strawberries

Method

  1. Separate the eggs. Whisk the whites until they are stiff with nice peaks. With your mixer still running at high speed, gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time until you have a glossy, stiff mixture. Do not over whip it though, you want a creamy, smooth mixture with stiff, glossy peaks. Just before the meringue is ready, add the vinegar and mix that through.

  2. Heat your oven to 120°C/gas mark ½. Line a large tray with non-stick baking paper. Use a dinner plate to trace a circle on the paper. Spoon on the meringue mixture, spreading it within the circle and creating a ridge around the edge to contain all that gorgeous Chantilly cream and fresh fruit.

  3. Pop your meringue into the oven and bake it for two hours. After two hours, turn off the oven and use a wooden spoon to hold the door slightly ajar. Leave the meringue there until the oven is cool. If you prefer you can make your meringue the day before you make the pavlova. You can just leave it in the oven until you are ready to add the cream and fruit. A word of advice here, make up the pavlova as close to the time you want to serve it as possible. Do not make it up hours in advance and leave it in the fridge as the meringue will go soft and lose its delicious crisp crust and soft chewy centre.

  4. Next, prepare the fruit. Cut the peel and pith away from the oranges and remove the segments. Peel and dice the pineapple. Peel and slice the kiwis. Wash the berries, cherries, and grapes. Slice the strawberries, keeping a few whole to garnish the top pavlova.

  5. Whip the cream along with two teaspoons of caster sugar and the vanilla essence. Put the meringue on a large serving platter or plate, spoon in the cream and spread it over the centre. Remove the passion fruit from its skin and spoon the flesh and seeds over the cream.

  6. Now you are ready to build your fruit display. Start with the grapes, cherries and blackberries, arranging them around the outer edge of the pavlova. Add the blueberries next, then the kiwi, next the pineapple, then the orange. Finally fill in the centre with the strawberries. Cut a few whole strawberries in half and top off the pavlova with them. You can of course use other fruit to make up the pride colours, mango and physalis along with the orange and some raspberry along with the strawberries are beautiful.

  7. Once all your fruit is arranged, you are done. Stand back and enjoy your creation. This really is a spectacular dessert, and it tastes wonderful.

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