Last Friday, Australia was celebrating its National Day and I thought I would make the most Australian dessert I know for the occasion: Pavlova.
The day chosen for this celebration - January 26th - is quite controversial here as many see it as "Invasion Day" and hurtful to Aboriginal People.
I will not talk much about this issue here because, after all, we are here for food, but you can read more about it here if you are interested.
On a lighter note, Pavlova itself is part of another controversy: did New Zealand or Australia invent it? Believe it or not, this has been a source of conflict between the two countries for hundreds of year!
Historians lean towards New Zealand (I can hear Australian screaming right now), but since Pavlova is the only "super Australian" dessert I know (with the Lamington), I had to make it!
Plus, does its origin really matter as long as it is delicious?
Pavlova is made out of three distinct elements:
- a Meringue base
- Whipped Cream
- Fresh Fruits
I decided to add a Raspberry Coulis to this recipe because, well... I am quite obsessed with Raspberry in desserts.
I also chose to give a bit of a twist to the Whipped Cream by adding fresh Lime to it.
This brings a well needed sour and tangy note to a dessert that tends to be too sweet.
For the Fruit Toppings, I went for Nectarines, Kiwi Fruit and Passion Fruit. I also added fresh Mint leaves.
The contrast created by the Raspberry Coulis and the fresh Fruits was quite beautiful!
Pavlova with Lime Whipped Cream and Raspberry Coulis
For the Meringue:
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1/2 cups Caster Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Cornflour
- Turn on the oven on 130°
- In a large bowl, separate the eggs white from the yolks.
With an hand mixer or mixer, beat the Egg Whites until soft peaks form.
- While still whisking the egg whites, gradually add the Caster Sugar and keep beating until the meringue gets thicker and glossy.
All the sugar needs to have been absorbed; if you can still feel sugar grains on your finger, keep beating.
- Add the Lemon Juice and Cornflour and gently fold until all combined.
- Line a Flat Tray with Baking Paper and pour the Meringue on it to create a round shape (you can draw a circle on the baking paper as a guide if it is easier).
If you want the meringue to be thin, spread it to a 3 to 5cm thickness; Otherwise, keep it more compact. The centre part of the meringue needs to be lower than its sides.
- Bake for 1h30 at 130°.
Opening the oven to check it can be tempting, but don't! If you do, the Meringue may collapse.
- After 1h30, turn the oven off and let the Meringue cool down in the oven, door slightly opened.
A great trick is to put a wooden spoon in between the door and the oven to keep it slightly open.
- When completely cool, remove from the oven and set aside
For the Lime Whipped Cream:
- 300ml Double Cream or Thickened Cream
- 1 Lime, juice and zest
- 1/4 cups Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp. Caster Sugar
- Whisk the Double Cream with a mixer until soft peaks form.
- While still beating, add the Caster Sugar then the Lemon and Lime Juice and the Lime Zest.
- Keep whisking for another couple of minutes then refrigerate for at least 30min, until serving.
For the Raspberry Coulis:
- 3 cups Raspberries (can be fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 teasp. Cinnamon Powder
- 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
- In a Medium size pot, stir the Raspberries, Lemon Juice, Cinnamon Powder and Brown Sugar and bring to a boil.
- When the coulis starts reducing, remove from the stove and let cool down.
How much you let it reduce depends on the texture you want, but you do not want it too liquid nor solid. Dont let it turn into a jam!
To Assemble to Pavlova:
- Make sure that all the different elements have completely cooled down or the Pavlova will end up melting pretty fast.
- Remove the Meringue from the baking paper and place on a serving board.
- Spread the Lime Whipped Cream all over the Meringue, then the Raspberry Coulis over the Whipped Cream.
- Cut the Fresh Fruits and place over the Raspberry Coulis
- Top with Fresh Mint