When challenged to create a dish with the theme of Whipped Heaven (cream/desserts) for week 2 of the Russell Hobbs Allure cookery challenge, one idea popped into my head straight away.
A cross between a pavlova and a fruit tart. I named my creation the pavlotart!
From the pavlova, I’m taking the meringue base, which is usually topped with fresh whipped cream and fruit. From the fruit tart, I’m taking (a quick and easy verion of) pastry cream and the idea of glazing the fruit.
Makes 2 medium or 1 large pavlotart
4 medium egg whites (approximately 120 grams by weight)
240 grams granulated sugar
Pastry Cream Ingredients
200 ml double cream
100 ml fresh custard
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mixed fresh fruit of your choice
3-4 tablespoons of fruit jelly or jam *
* I used homemade plum jelly, but apple jelly or apricot jam would also work well.
- Preheat the oven to 150 C.
- In a very clean bowl, whip the egg whites until they reach the stiff peak stage. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without them sliding out.
- Add the sugar little by little, mixing them into the egg whites all the time. This should result in a thick, glossy meringue mixture.
- Spread the meringue onto a baking sheet in one or two circles, taking care to create a “wall” around the edge, to hold the cream and fruit in. A piping bag may make this process easier.
- Turn the oven down to 140 C and put the meringues into the oven.
- Bake for an hour.
- Leaving the door closed and the meringues in the oven, turn the oven off. The cooling oven will dry out the meringues a little more.
- After an hour or two, remove the meringues from the oven, and leave to cool further on a rack, if needed.
- In a clean bowl, whip the double cream and the vanilla extract until the mixture becomes thick and stiff.
- Fold in the custard.
- Spoon the pastry cream mix onto the cold meringue base(s).
- Wash the fruit, chop as necessary.
- Heat the jelly or jam in the microwave for 20 seconds, or in a pan on low heat, till it’s become runny but is not bubbling hot.
- Coat the fruit in the melted jelly or jam and arrange over the pastry cream.
I folded my custard in a little too vigorously which made my patisserie cream a little softer than intended and spooned it onto the meringue when it was still slightly warm, which made it melt a little too!
- If using dried fruit and nuts, coat in jelly or jam in the same way, and add to the pavlotart.
The glaze made the fruit look like jewels and the patisserie cream gave an extra flavour over plain whipped cream. I really liked the finish look and it tasted fantastic.
The next day, I topped the second meringue shell with the same pastry cream but as it was late and I wanted to be quick, I didn't stop to glaze the raspberries, bananas and blueberries. It was a great combination of fruits and worked very well with the pastry cream but didn't have quite the glistening beauty of the glazed fruit version from the previous day.
I also considered adding some dried fruit and nuts to my fresh fruit toppings, and will try that out next time!
You can watch a (cringe-worthy) video of me making this dish over on the challenge's Facebook page. And do stop and vote, for whichever recipes appeal the most, my fellow contestants are creative, talented and much better at presenting than I am!