Pineapple and Ginger Pavlova

An impressive party dessert, pavlova never fails to please, and pineapple and ginger make an intriguing blend of flavours. Carefully prise the meringue off the baking parchment after baking; if the pavlova is cooked, the paper will come away cleanly.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 large egg whites (room temperature)
175g (6oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
300ml (10fl oz) double or whipping cream
200g can pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained
5 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan 130°C/300°F/Gas 2). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and mark a 20cm (8in) circle on it.

Whisk the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks, then add the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, continuing to whisk on full speed until the whites are glossy. Blend the vinegar and cornflour together and whisk into the whites with the last spoonful of sugar.

Spoon the meringue onto the circle on the paper, and spread it so that the edge is slightly higher than the centre. Place the meringue in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the baking parchment, turn off the oven, and return the meringue to the oven on its baking sheet. It will cool as the oven cools.

Transfer the meringue to a platter. Whip the cream until thick, put it in the centre of the meringue, and top with the pineapple and ginger.

Variation Summer Fruit Pavlova Replace the pineapple and ginger with soft summer fruits, for instance strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Whisking tips
You will get a greater volume when whisking egg whites if the eggs are at room temperature rather than cold, so take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before they are needed. Equipment must be scrupulously clean and dry. Once whisked, egg whites need to be used at once.

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