Ah pavlova. Is there anything that says “Christmas in Australia” better than pavlova? Honestly, there are probably plenty of things. And it’s probably as symbolic of Christmas as it is of summer in general. Plus, if we want to be really pedantic, is it even Australian? Who really knows (let’s not open that can of worms…). Point is, Australians often have pavlova at Christmas. Therefore, Australian and Christmassy. Point made (I’m very convincing, aren’t I?!).
And this particular pavlova is extra Christmassy because it’s in the shape of a wreath! It’s not an original idea, it’s true, but it is fun. Particularly when it’s decked out in red fruits – I highly recommend strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and blueberries (I know they’re not red, but they’re brilliant!). And then you can get super intense and put leaves of mint or some freshly plucked holly on it (because we all have holly just laying around!) to add the necessary green element to make it thoroughly Christmassy. But let’s be real – no one wants to eat a mint leaf with pavlova, that sounds awful. Let’s leave the mint leaves in the water jug and stick with a red pavlova wreath.
Changing tack, I’ve had nothing but rave reviews from this pavlova. And I mean that – I’ve brought it out twice recently and never heard a bad thing, or even a mediocre thing about it for that matter. So if you’re thinking of making a pavlova this Christmas, try this one! It’s Nigella after all! And Nigella is never wrong. Like ever.
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually whisk in the sugar, until the meringue is firm and shiny.
- Sprinkle the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract over the egg white, and whisk in quickly.
- Using a large spoon, spoon the meringue onto the baking paper one spoonful at a time in the shape of a wreath. Keep piling until it’s all on the tray.
- Put the pavlova in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 120°C fan-forced. Bake for around an hour or an hour and a half, or until the pavlova is crusty and firm on the outside – don’t bother checking the inside of the pavlova – it should be gooey, so doing a cake-style yes won’t achieve much.
- Then turn off the oven and leave to cool completely. Once it’s cool, remove from the oven and decorate with whipped cream and cut fruit.
- this is half the original recipe and I think it makes a perfect wreath-sized pavlova. It will fit on a large cookie tray and feed about 10-15.
- If you want to double it you can easily make two regular-sized pavlova wreaths or one mammoth pavlova wreath – it really is epic.
- Plain pavlova, without cream or fruit, will keep in an airtight container for about a week, but it’s best fresh.
- Pavlova with the trimming will last a couple of days in the fridge, but really is only worth presenting on the first day – so if you want to make it ahead of time, don’t add the trimming until the last minute.
Happy Christmas Baking!