Raise your hand if you agree that pavlovas are the stuff dreams are made of! (Recipe inside)
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Penguin Random House has shared a free recipe for Ilse van der Merwe’s Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Passion Fruit from her stunning new cookbook, Cape Mediterranean!

In contemporary South Africa, especially in the Western Cape, so many of us love long lunch tables that start with breads and spreads, going into smaller bites or tapas, onto generous salads and vegetable dishes served alongside beautiful roasts or freshly grilled seafood. We savour the process of coming together around a table, many times next to a fire, sharing conversations and creating new memories.

Cape Mediterranean focuses on these gatherings, not heritage food nor nostalgia. Cape Mediterranean cooking is a South African style of cooking and entertaining influenced by one of the oldest and arguably also the healthiest cuisines in the world. It has developed naturally within the Western Cape due to its Mediterranean climate and the abundance of classic Mediterranean-style local produce.

This book features more than 75 delectable recipes, from breads, dips and tapas, to lavish salads, succulent roasts, freshly made pastas and heavenly desserts. The recipes bring seasonal produce to the fore and the balance of dishes and ease of preparation will have you inviting friends and family over in no time to share in this veritable bounty.

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Passion Fruit

I cannot count the number of pavlovas I’ve made in my life, but it must be close to 100. It’s just such a stunning way to end a festive lunch or dinner and the toppings can be changed seasonally. The easiest way to serve it is with seasonal fruit and whipped cream. But since you’re using six egg whites for the meringue, you might as well make a silky lemon curd with the yolks. With added fresh passion fruit, this is the stuff summer dreams are made of.

Serves 8

  • 6 extra large egg whites (save the yolks and make *lemon curd)
  • 400 g caster sugar (extra fine sugar)
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) corn flour
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract (or scraped seeds of a vanilla pod)
  • 250 ml fresh cream, whipped
  • about 1 cup *lemon curd, for topping (see page 188)
  • pulp of about 4 fresh passion fruits

Pre-heat the oven to 150 °C. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl (with an electric whisk or stand mixer with whisk attachment) until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar to the egg whites, small amounts at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add the vinegar/lemon juice, corn flour and vanilla extract and mix well.

Dot a big roasting tray with some of the mixture then place a sheet of baking paper on top (sticking like glue). Pour the pavlova mixture onto the tray and shape with a spoon or spatula into a round shape with a diameter of about 230 cm, like a cake (draw a circle on the back of your baking paper, if necessary). The mixture will rise a bit around the sides, so leave enough space.

Place in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 120°C. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave to cool (in the oven) for about 21/2 hours without opening the oven door.

To serve: Carefully remove the baking paper from the bottom of pavlova and transfer to a serving dish (it will have a few cracks, that’s 100%). Top with whipped cream and lemon curd, swirling the cream and curd together softly. Top with lashings of passion fruit pulp and serve at once, sliced.

Note: Pavlova must be assembled just before serving as it becomes soggy on standing. Store the unassembled baked pavlova on the baking tray covered with a sealed large plastic bag. Can be baked a day ahead if stored in an airtight container

Categories Cookery Lifestyle Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Cape Mediterranean Cookery Ilse van der Merwe Pavlova Penguin Random House SA Recipes

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