Lilac Meringue Pavlova
Individual lilac flowers, removed from their stems, make a pretty, edible garnish, but to get the right flavour, you'd need to eat lots of them all together, which isn't particularly pleasant. The best way to use lilac is as an infusion or a subtle flavouring. If possible, it's best not to wash flowers too much, otherwise you can lose some of the pollen, which gives much of the flavour.
|For the meringue:|
|60||individual lilac flowers, stems removed, plus extra for decoration|
|150g||white granulated sugar|
|For the filling:|
|icing sugar, to taste (optional)|
|a handful of blueberries, or raspberries, or chopped strawberries (or a mixture of all three)|
|1 tbsp||lilac flowers, removed from their stems, plus extra for decoration|
You will need two 22 x 32cm baking trays.
Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 1 and line two 22 x 32cm baking trays with parchment paper.
To make the meringue, put the egg whites into a sqeaky-clean bowl and whisk until stiff; if you're brave, try holding the bowl upside-down over your head to test if it's stiff enough.
Put the lilac flowers and sugar in a food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds just before using. Add the lilac sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to the egg whites, whisking again to stiff peak. Then place a large oval-shaped dollop on to each of the prepared baking trays (you could of course make lots of smaller meringues if you prefer).
Bake for 1 hour, or a little longer if necessary, until the meringues are golden and lift easily from the parchment paper. Leave to cool completely.
To make the filling, whip the cream to just firm in a bowl. Add the yoghurt and sift in the icing sugar, if using. Add the fresh fruits and the lilac flowers and stir to combine. Place one of the meringues on a serving dish. Spread half the cream filling over the top and place the second meringue on top. Spread the rest of the topping over it and scatter with some lilac flowers.