- Gluten free & vegan
- Gluten & dairy free
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Dairy-free pastry cream
Coconut milk, optional
The day before, make the pastry cream and store in the fridge. Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge if using for whipped cream (see tip)
Preheat the oven to 180°c / 160°c fan oven / 350°f / gas mark 4.
Place the egg whites into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk until the whites form firm peaks.
Gradually whisk in two thirds of the sugar and fold in the last third.
Fold in the cornflour and vinegar.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spoon 8 individual meringues or one large meringue onto the tray. Use a small spoon to make a dip in the centre.
Place into the oven and turn the oven down to 150°c / 130°c fan oven / 300°f / gas mark 2.
Bake for 30 minutes then turn the oven off and leave for an extra 30 minutes.
Leave to cool.
Prepare your fruit and When ready to serve, place the pavlovas onto plates and top with the pastry cream and fruit.
Pavlovas are best eaten within a day of baking. The middle of each pavlova will be soft like marshmallow.
My favourite fruit to eat with pavlova is cut up strawberries mixed with passion fruit and cream drizzled over the top.
Make sure your mixing bowl and utensils are scrupulously clean and your egg white does not contain any yolk. If any grease gets into the egg white it will not whisk up properly.
To make whipped coconut cream – open the tin of coconut milk and spoon out the hard coconut cream into a mixing bowl leaving the water behind. This can be sweetened with icing sugar and flavoured with vanilla. Whisk until thick.
Te enrich pastry cream – In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the pastry cream to break up. Fold in the whipped coconut cream a quarter at a time until you are happy with the flavour.
There are now dairy-free whipping creams available in the shops. Prepare as per instructions on the packaging and fold into the pastry cream or serve alone with the fruit.
To add texture to the meringue, add 50g ground hazelnuts or ground almonds. Work quickly, add the ground nuts and spoon onto the baking tray. Bake straight away as the fat in the nuts will break down the meringue to a sloppy mess.
To make a Vacherin or hard meringue nest. Omit the cornflour and vinegar.
Pipe nests of meringue onto a greased baking tray and bake at 140°c /120°c fan oven / 275°f / gas mark 1 for 3 hours. Switch off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven overnight to dry out fully. These meringues will keep for a while if kept in an airtight container.