Pavlova #3

Yield: 12 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 \N Egg whites (should be as fresh as possible)
1 pinch (good) salt
1 cup (heaped) castor sugar (superfine sugar)
1 teaspoon White vinegar
1 tablespoon (level) cornflour; wheaten cornflour for preference (don't know what wheaten cornflour is; cornflour is cornstarch)
½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
10 ounces (fl) thickened cream; whipped
4 \N Bananas
3 \N Passionfruit
1 \N Punnet (1/2 pint) strawberries

Called my father-in-law (in Sydney) on Christmas Day and told him what we had had for dinner. "That's very Australian!" he exclaimed. "That was the whole point," I replied. :-) Anyhow, here's the menu with recipes and comments (all recipes were taken from the Australian cookbook Manda gave me): Prawn salad(*), Standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding(*), Roast potatoes and butternut squash, Stir fried broccoli and snow peas, Pavlova(*). (Ones marked * are in this cookbook.) Now for the piece de resistance -- the pavlova. My pav weeped but that didn't bother me. However, it came out very soft -- too soft. I don't think I baked it long enough. In fact, after I put the cream on top, it was hard to tell the cream from the pav. The recipe claims it's not as sweet as some, but I thought it was cloyingly sweet. I'm going to have to play around with this dish a lot, I can tell. I also used Cool Whip -- not as a convenience, but more to make it low-fat. I also substituted kiwis for the passionfruit as hubby doesn't like passionfruit.

Preheat oven to hot. Cover a greased flat baking tray with gladbake (??) or a split open oven bag. Grease well with butter, sprinkle with cornflour and tap off excess (the cornflour gives a nice dry surface under the pavlova.

Using a 18 cm (7 inch) cake tin as a guide, mark out a circle on the tray with a skewer.

Beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Add sugar 1 heaped tablespoon at a time until all sugar has been added. When finished, the meringue should be thick and shiny. Stir in vinegar, cornflour and vanilla, stir gently then pile onto prepared tray. The mixture should stay roughly in the marked circle, simply smooth over the top (It is important not to make the mistake of scooping out the centre). The mixture should be about 6 cm (2½ inches) high for a good marshmallow centre. Drop oven temperature to very slow before placing the pavlova in the oven. Bake for 1 ¼ hours. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes, then turn upside down onto a flat serving plate. Remove paper or ovenwrap carefully. The centre will sink slightly as the pavlova cools. When cold, fill with whipped cream and top with sliced bananas, passion fruit pulp and whole strawberries (but don't fill until right before you serve).



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