Australia Day is coming up, and the Mrs asked me to make something special for her to take to work for the Australia Day Morning Tea they were organising.
Whilst Pavlova is actually a New Zealand dish, Australians have appropriated it … and unlike Russell Crowe, have not regretted that association.
I decided it may be nice to infuse the Pavlova meringue base with the unique scent of the lemon myrtle to provide a citrus quality to the base, which could then be decorated with some candied lemons and kiwi fruit, to make a “green and gold” Pavlova.
The biggest issue I had, I discovered, was the oven in the place I’m renting at the moment – it suffers from one hotspot, two cold spots and practically no insulation. I simply couldn’t slow down the heat loss – causing a collapse of the meringue.
This may cause me to build my own oven …
In the meantime, here’s the recipe for those who do not have my oven issues.
Prepare by starting to preheat the oven to 200°C
- 6 egg whites (room temperature are best … left out overnight in a covered bowl is better)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a grinder place and blend
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon myrtle
- 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
In a glass mix
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Place some baking paper onto a flat baking tray and dust lightly with sifted cornflour.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks form
- Add the mix from the grinder, a tablespoon at a time beating constantly until thick and glossy.
- Fold through the mixed liquids
- Using the Spatula, scoop the mix onto the baking paper in an approx 24cm circle mound with a slightly higher edge and a low centre
- Place tray in the oven, reduce to 120°C and bake for 1.5 hours (or until dry and crisp)
- Turn off oven and open oven door, allowing Pavlova to cool slowly.
Whipped cream is a must, obviously, but some suggestions that work well with the lemon tang include:
- Plain whipped cream with Candied lemon slices and pulped kiwi fruit
- kaffir lime infused cream with shredded coconut
- Macadamia nuts, candied citrus peel, vanilla infused cream
- White chocolate (no, really)
- Obviously any citrus fruits and flavours