Let me introduce the Pavlova celebration wreath! This recipe is so pretty, easy to make and has an incredible flavour. I make this meringue in the French style – this is the easiest of all meringues and does not require a sugar thermometer. The ingredients are always the same: double the amount of sugar to the weight of the egg whites. For best results, I recommend that you weigh out the egg whites to get exactly the amount you’ll need.
To get really well whisked up egg whites, make sure the bowl and all the other equipment are super clean. Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk the eggs on medium speed, until they just begin to go frothy and hold their shape a little in the bowl. You can also use a hand-held electric whisk or you can even whisk it by hand using a balloon whisk, but this does take a long time.
Put the sugars together in one bowl, stirring to combine. With the speed on medium-high, add about one third of the sugar in a steady stream, whisking all the time. The mixture will now begin to thicken a little – just make sure that all of the sugar crystals have dissolved before you add the next batch. Add the next third and repeat the process again, whisking it all up really well. Then add the final third of the sugar and whisk on high – you can whisk on high now as the egg mixture will be much more stable. Keep whisking until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Add the cornflour and fold in with a metal spoon or spatula. To check that the meringue is ready, take some on the whisk and turn it meringue-covered end up – the meringue should be super stiff and not floppy. Some people say to hold the bowl over your head – if it doesn’t fall out, it’s ready!
Draw a 25cm circle on a piece of baking parchment – you can do this freehand or draw round a 24cm round cake tin. Draw a 10cm circle in the centre to create a nice even ring shape that can act as the stencil for your wreath.
Flip the parchment over. Put four blobs of the meringue mixture onto a baking sheet and then place your wreath stencil on top. The meringue will act like glue, stopping your parchment from flying around in the oven.
Use the spatula to place large dollops of the meringue onto the ‘ring’, making sure to keep it within the edges of the stencil. Make sure that the dollops are the same height – this will mean the wreath will bake more evenly and give you a pretty finish. When all of the meringue is on the stencil, I like to run a spoon around the top to smooth it out slightly as this makes it easier to put the fruit on once it has been baked.
Put the Pavlova into the oven and
Blitz the raspberries in a food processor with the icing sugar, lime juice and zest, and then using a spatula, scrape the raspberry mixture into a small pan. If you don’t want the raspberry seeds in it, you can use a fine sieve to remove them. Mix the arrowroot or cornflour with the water, making sure there are no lumps and then add this to the raspberry mixture and stir together. Arrowroot will give you a crystal clear sauce and cornflour will be just a little cloudier. Bring the mixture to the boil over medium–high heat and then as soon as it is boiling, turn down the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes, until it has thickened, stirring occasionally. Then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Carefully slide your Pavlova wreath onto a large flat serving plate. If it cracks a little that is totally okay! Place dollops of the crème Chantilly around the top of the wreath, being as messy or as neat as you like. Then drizzle over some of the raspberry sauce – the rest of the sauce can be served in a jug or bowl at the table. Decorate the Pavlova wreath with the raspberries, lychees and pistachios, scatter over the lime zest and serve.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.