Chatting to my neighbour recently, he was telling me that his mother always made her Pavlova in a large, rectangular baking dish (usually a meat dish), as they had such a big crowd every Christmas. Serves 6-8
We have made this Pavlova in our Fat Daddio's Sheet Cake Pan and it worked beautifully. See our show-stopping cover-star method here.
5 egg whites, at room temperature
280g caster sugar
¾ tablespoon cornflour
1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
50g toasted and skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Peaches and cream
3 cardamom pods
2 whole allspice100g caster sugar
50g frozen passionfruit or 3-4 fresh passionfruit in season
4 ripe peaches, skins removed
To decorate, optional
A few extra toasted and skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 orange, pared rind shredded and blanched
Heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 30cm x 20cm Fat Daddios Sheet Cake Pan with baking paper.
Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Put the caster sugar in a shallow stainless steel bowl or shallow baking tray and pop in the oven for a couple of minutes to slightly warm – this helps hasten the sugar dissolving in the egg white.
Beat the egg whites until foamy and fluffy. Increase the speed to medium-high and begin adding the caster sugar, 2-3 tablespoons at a time. Beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Fold in the cornflour and vinegar, then the hazelnuts.
Spoon the meringue into the prepared pan then spread evenly, making sure you get into the corners of the pan.
Put in the oven and lower the oven temperature to 140°C. Bake meringue for 45 minutes until puffy and crisp. The centre of the meringue will be marshmallowy.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool. The meringue will collapse a little which will give you natural indentations to fill with cream and fruit.
Meanwhile prepare the fruit. Wrap spices in a piece of muslin to enclose them. Put in a saucepan with the sugar, 125ml water and the passionfruit. Put over medium-low heat and stir gently until the sugar dissolves then simmer until syrupy.
Halve the peaches and remove stones then slice putting in a heatproof bowl as you go. Pour over the hot syrup and leave to cool.
To serve, lightly whip 150ml cream then very carefully fold in the mascarpone using a spatula rather than a whisk as whisking at this stage can split the cream. Use any of the remaining runny cream, if needed to thin the cream mixture until it just holds its shape.
Dollop the cream mixture into the natural indentations. Put any extra cream in a small bowl and serve separately. Using a slotted spoon top with some peach slices and any syrup that just clings to them. Put extra peaches in syrup in a separate serving bowl.
If using, top with the hazelnuts and orange shred.