Peach pavlova with passionfruit curd

Recipe by:

This showstopper dessert will impress even the most hard to please guests

Peach pavlova with passionfruit curd

SERVES

10

PEOPLE

PREP TIME

60

MINUTES

COOKING TIME

90

MINUTES

CUISINE

Australian

COURSE

Dessert

Method

  1. Carefully separate the eggs. You will need the yolks to make the passion fruit curd so set them aside for now. Whisk the egg whites in your mixer at a medium speed until they are stiff with nice peaks. With your mixer still running at the same speed, gradually add 200g of the sugar a tablespoon at a time until you have a glossy, stiff mixture. Do not over whip it, you want a creamy, smooth mixture with stiff, glossy peaks. When you have achieved that, add the vinegar and whisk that through for another minute or so.
  2. Heat your oven to 130°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Spread half of the meringue mixture onto each, forming discs about 20cm in diameter. An easy way to get the right shape is to use a plate or dish and a pen to mark a circle on the underside of a piece of baking paper and then use a spatula to spread the meringue mixture from the centre of the circle out. Form a slightly raised lip around the outer edge of one layer; this will be the top for your pavlova. Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C and bake the meringue for ninety minutes and then turn off the oven. Use a wooden spoon to hold the oven door slightly ajar and leave the meringue in there until the oven is completely cool or even overnight.

  3. While the meringue is baking, make your passion fruit curd. Put the pulp of nine passion fruits into a food processor and whizz at a high speed to separate the seeds from the pulp and juice. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds, you should get about 125ml of passion fruit juice. Use another passion fruit or two if needs be, but I find that eight or nine fruits give me that amount.  Create a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Use a pan that is the right size for the bowl to sit into the top of the pan, but not to come into direct contact with the boiling water. Add the passion fruit juice and 40g of caster sugar to the bowl and heat, stirring a little, until the sugar dissolves into the juice.

  4. Cut the butter into small cubes. In another bowl, whisk the eggs yolks together with the lemon juice until smooth. This will only take a minute or so. Remove the bowl with the passion fruit from the pan and slowly add it a little at a time to the egg mixture, whisking by hand as you go. When that has all come together, place the bowl back over the pan of hot water over a medium heat and gradually add the butter. Add a few cubes at a time and keep gently whisking the mixture until all the butter has been incorporated and the curd thickens. Keep whisking gently until you get a custard like consistency. If you stop stirring, you will cook the eggs and end up with a scrambled mess. If you have a probe thermometer to hand, the curd is perfect when it hits about 70 Celsius. When it is done, remove the bowl from the heat and sit it into a larger bowl or basin of cold water to stop the curd from cooking any further. When it is cold, set it aside until you are ready to assemble your pavlova.

  5. Whip the cream along with a heaped teaspoon of caster sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla essence. Wash the peaches and cut them into thin wedges.

  6. To assemble the pavlova, place one layer of meringue on a serving platter. Spread generously with cream, and then spoon over some curd, use about one third of the quantity you have made from the recipe.  Add the top layer of meringue, spreading that with the last of the cream. Now pile on the sliced peaches and drizzle a little more curd on a few spots around the rim to that they ooze down the outside of the pavlova. Finally, scatter some toasted almond flakes on top.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs

  • 240g caster sugar

  • 1tsp white vinegar

  • 9-10 passion fruit

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 85g unsalted butter

  • 500ml cream

  • 1tsp vanilla essence

  • 4-5 ripe peaches

  • A handful or toasted flaked almonds

Method

  1. Carefully separate the eggs. You will need the yolks to make the passion fruit curd so set them aside for now. Whisk the egg whites in your mixer at a medium speed until they are stiff with nice peaks. With your mixer still running at the same speed, gradually add 200g of the sugar a tablespoon at a time until you have a glossy, stiff mixture. Do not over whip it, you want a creamy, smooth mixture with stiff, glossy peaks. When you have achieved that, add the vinegar and whisk that through for another minute or so.
  2. Heat your oven to 130°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Spread half of the meringue mixture onto each, forming discs about 20cm in diameter. An easy way to get the right shape is to use a plate or dish and a pen to mark a circle on the underside of a piece of baking paper and then use a spatula to spread the meringue mixture from the centre of the circle out. Form a slightly raised lip around the outer edge of one layer; this will be the top for your pavlova. Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C and bake the meringue for ninety minutes and then turn off the oven. Use a wooden spoon to hold the oven door slightly ajar and leave the meringue in there until the oven is completely cool or even overnight.

  3. While the meringue is baking, make your passion fruit curd. Put the pulp of nine passion fruits into a food processor and whizz at a high speed to separate the seeds from the pulp and juice. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds, you should get about 125ml of passion fruit juice. Use another passion fruit or two if needs be, but I find that eight or nine fruits give me that amount.  Create a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Use a pan that is the right size for the bowl to sit into the top of the pan, but not to come into direct contact with the boiling water. Add the passion fruit juice and 40g of caster sugar to the bowl and heat, stirring a little, until the sugar dissolves into the juice.

  4. Cut the butter into small cubes. In another bowl, whisk the eggs yolks together with the lemon juice until smooth. This will only take a minute or so. Remove the bowl with the passion fruit from the pan and slowly add it a little at a time to the egg mixture, whisking by hand as you go. When that has all come together, place the bowl back over the pan of hot water over a medium heat and gradually add the butter. Add a few cubes at a time and keep gently whisking the mixture until all the butter has been incorporated and the curd thickens. Keep whisking gently until you get a custard like consistency. If you stop stirring, you will cook the eggs and end up with a scrambled mess. If you have a probe thermometer to hand, the curd is perfect when it hits about 70 Celsius. When it is done, remove the bowl from the heat and sit it into a larger bowl or basin of cold water to stop the curd from cooking any further. When it is cold, set it aside until you are ready to assemble your pavlova.

  5. Whip the cream along with a heaped teaspoon of caster sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla essence. Wash the peaches and cut them into thin wedges.

  6. To assemble the pavlova, place one layer of meringue on a serving platter. Spread generously with cream, and then spoon over some curd, use about one third of the quantity you have made from the recipe.  Add the top layer of meringue, spreading that with the last of the cream. Now pile on the sliced peaches and drizzle a little more curd on a few spots around the rim to that they ooze down the outside of the pavlova. Finally, scatter some toasted almond flakes on top.