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It might be named after a Russian ballerina and the Kiwis may lay claim to inventing it, but there are few things as quintessentially Australian as the pavlova.
And with the mercury (mercifully) climbing, what better way to celebrate than whip up this meringue-based beauty?
On her popular weekly TAFE Buds segment on ABC Riverina with Sally Bryant, TAFE NSW cookery guru Sara Morley said an abundance of in-season fruit meant now was the perfect time to “get your pav on”.
“You can see the blossoms on the trees and the flowers bursting through the ground, and I automatically think of all the fabulous fruit I can serve on its own, with a scoop of ice cream or in a more complex dessert,” Ms Morley said.
Cumquats, lemons, blood oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, strawberries, avocados, pears and bananas were the ideal headline acts in a dessert at this time of year, she said, with stone fruits and tropical fruits starting to come into season.
And the iconic Aussie pavlova was the a great showcase for the fruit.
“Pavlovas and meringues lend themselves to fruit because you have that sweetness of the egg white and sugar base and the tartness of the fruit,” Ms Morley said.
She said ensuring egg whites were at room temperature before making the pavlova, using caster sugar and adding Cream of Tartar to the mix were great ways to improve your pav.
And Ms Morley even had a tip for those times when the pav falls flat.
“If all else fails, mix it up in a glass with fruit and tell your guests it’s a deconstructed pav,” she said.
If you’d like to sharpen your kitchen skills or consider a career in cooking, there are a smorgasbord of courses available at TAFE NSW. For more information, visit www.tafensw.edu.au
Spring Soft Pavlova Roll
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
Grease a swiss roll or slice pan and line with baking paper, extending paper a little over long sides.
Beat the egg-whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar, a little at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved between additions and firm peaks have formed.
Sift the cornflour over the mixture; add vinegar and vanilla, and very gently fold through the meringue.
Spread mixture into the pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until just firm. Cool for 5 minutes.
Place a clean tea towel on the bench; top with a sheet of baking paper, dust with extra cornflour.
Turn meringue onto paper then gently peel away lining paper. Stand for 2 minutes.
Whip cream with electric mixer until firm peaks form.
Spread ½ of the whipped cream over just warm meringue. Place sliced fruits lengthways along centre of meringue. Using paper as a guide, roll meringue from the long side.
Cover then refrigerate 30 minutes.
Trim the ends, cover top of pavlova roll with remaining cream and decorate with the toasted flaked almonds.
Cover, refrigerate well (at least an hour) until ready to serve.