I think the reason strawberries exist, is to sit on top of some crunchy meringue, sinking into cushions of chantilly cream. This is my favourite dessert in the world, named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. That fact alone just makes it sound wonderful.
Makes 8-10 individual meringues. You will need an electric whisk or some incredible biceps!
Egg Whites – 4 (150-160g)
Caster Sugar – 125g
Icing sugar – 125g
Pistachios – 50-100g
Strawberries – 200g
Lemon juice – 1/2 Teaspoon
Icing sugar – 1 Tablespoon
Double Cream 300ml
Vanilla pod – 1 seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar – 1 tablespoon
Pistachios – A handful, chopped
Mint – A few sprigs
Strawberries – A handful
The Meringues: Preheat the oven to 110°c. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Place the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and whisk to soft form peaks * see tips for more on this. Now gradually add the caster sugar, whisking well and for a few minutes between each addition until it is fully incorporated. Continue whisking for a few minutes until the meringue forms stiff peaks. It will be whisking for at least 10 minutes in total. Whilst you are waiting for the meringue to whisk up, you can put the pistachios into a food processor to blitz them to a fine powder, or chop them very finely.
Now add the icing sugar to the meringue and whisk for a minute just to incorporate it, it should be smooth and silky and able to hold its shape.
Empty the ground pistachios onto a small tray. Take two large spoons and scoop some meringue, pushing it with the other spoon onto the pistachios, to coat the bottoms. Using a third and clean spoon, lift this from underneath onto the baking tray and repeat this process, leaving a good space between the meringues as they will spread. Take a wet spoon and push it onto the centres to form a little dip.
Strawberry coulis: Hull the strawberries and chop them into quarters, placing them into a small bowl. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and use a hand blender to blitz them to a puree. Pass this through a sieve into another bowl and set aside.
To Finish: Hull the strawberries and slice them into quarters. Place the cream, vanilla seeds and icing sugar into a mix bowl and whisk to form soft to medium peaks. Spoon some of the cream and coulis onto the meringues, top with strawberries and chopped pistachios and a little mint. Serve immediately or place into the fridge.
– Soft Peaks just means when you lift the whisk out of the egg whites, the foamed egg whites form a peak that tips over a little and is a little soft. Stiff peaks means it is firmly standing as a peak and can hold its shape.
– The meringues without the toppings will keep in an air tight container for a few days.
– Stick your parchment paper down to the tray using a little meringue before you scoop your meringues onto the tray.