I am going to be away for the next couple of weeks, visiting family and friends in New Zealand aka Middle Earth. I am not sure whether I’ll be able to blog from there or not. Actually I’m hoping that I’ll be far too busy to blog! My uncle and family immigrated to New Zealand in 1958, with his sister and her family following in 1973. As a result all my first cousins are over there and it’s a truly beautiful country to visit. Gran visited several times and would have loved to live there – unfortunately NZ immigration rules were against her, but she always had a book of photos of New Zealand next to her chair, and talked about her visits with great longing. Her love for that country and how everything was better there almost made me avoid visiting, but our first visit in 1990 confirmed that it does indeed have spectacular countryside. For me, it is one of my four favourite countries ever since I am a lover of mountains and water. (The other three are Canada, Norway and Scotland, since you asked nicely).
Today’s recipe is a classic New Zealand dish, in fact, it is New Zealand’s national dish. Grandma used to make it and even had a special plate for it. I wouldn’t necessarily go that far but it is always a lovely dessert on a summer’s day and you can change the topping according to the fruit available. The classic topping is of course the kiwi fruit, but I have to confess that I prefer it with raspberries – I prefer the aesthetics of the red and I prefer the taste. If you do use raspberries, don’t soak them, clean them with a damp piece of kitchen towel so that they maintain their shape and put on just before serving.
So today’s recipe is Pavlova, a dish created in Wellington, New Zealand in honour of the dancer Anna Pavlova on her visit to the Antipodes. Australians have tried to claim the dish but a wee bit of research shows that it was indeed a NZ creation.
Pavlova – Ingredients
- 3 egg whites
- 8 oz caster sugar
- 3 tbsp hot water
- 3 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 250 ml double cream
- sliced soft fruit – type, shape and quantity is up to you
Put all ingredients into a clean mixing bowl and whisk until stiff. Cover a baking tray with baking parchment and put mixture onto the parchment. Make it the shape you require – round is the most conventional! Bake at 120 C for two hours. Turn off oven and leave meringue to cool in the closed oven.
Transfer shell very carefully to a plate.
Whip cream until stiff and spread on the pavlova. Top with the chosen fruit.