Festive Flavour

Noel Pavlova with Brandy Cream, Mulled Pears and Plums

Noël Pavlova with Brandy Cream, Mulled Pears & Plums

For the Pavlova:

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 640g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornflour, sieved
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 100C. Place parchment paper on a baking tin and draw a 26cm circle.
  2. Whisk the egg white until stiff, then add a tablespoon of sugar and whisk in the sugar and keep on repeating until all the sugar is incorporated and the egg white is stiff and glossy.
  3. Add the cornflour, vanilla essence and vinegar and whisk in lightly. Spoon the meringue mixture on to the parchment circle and with the back of a spoon make a hollow in the centre, so that you have a ledge around the perimeter.
  4. Pop in the cool oven for 2 hours and then turn the oven off and leave in the oven, preferably overnight.

For the syrup and fruit:

  • 300ml red wine
  • 150ml water
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • pinch ground mixed spice
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 strip of lemon zest
  • 1/2 orange studded with 10 cloves
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 100g sugar
  • 6 ripe pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 6 dark plums, quartered and stoned
  1. Put all the ingredients, except the pears and plums, in a large pan and simmer for 15 mins.
  2. Add the plums and poach very gently for approximately 15 mins, or until just soft.
  3. Remove the plums and add the pears and poach for 20 minutes or until just soft.
  4. Let the plums and the pexars cool in the syrup before using.

To fill:

  • 600ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  1. To assemble, whip the cream with the icing sugar and brandy until soft peaks.
  2. Spread a layer of cream in the base of the Pavlova and then cover the cream with pears and plums, spoon more cream on top of the fruit and top with the remaining pears and plums.
  3. Decorate with blueberries, blackberries or redcurrants.
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  • pictures David Merewether