There are two schools of thought with pavlova. You can portion them into individual meringues, or bake as one big mound, ready for an abundance of curd, cream and fruit. In either case, flowery passion fruit curd, fragrant mango and tart passion fruit seeds are ideal companions to the egg-white confection.
Passion Fruit and Mango Pavlovas
For the pavlovas:
4 large egg whites
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup (7 oz./220 g) superfine sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. malt vinegar
For the passion fruit curd:
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
2 whole eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) passion fruit juice, strained
Juice of 1 lime
For the whipped cream:
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large mangoes, peeled and cubed
3 passion fruits, halved (optional)
Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the pavlovas, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and salt on high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the cornstarch and vinegar.
Spoon 6 to 8 dollops of the meringue onto the prepared sheet, dividing the mixture evenly and spacing them 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) apart, or, for 1 large meringue, spoon into a single large mound. Use the back of the spoon to create an indentation in the center of each mound.
Bake for 2 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 250°F (120°C). Continue to bake until crisp to the touch, about 1 hour for individual meringues or 1 hour 40 minutes for a large meringue. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue(s) in the oven to cool completely, about 2 hours or up to overnight.
Meanwhile, to make the curd, in a bowl, whisk together the sugar, whole eggs and egg yolks. In a saucepan, stir the butter and passion fruit and lime juices over low heat until the butter melts. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the curd to a heatproof container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
No more than 4 hours before serving, whip the cream: In a bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until medium peaks form. Use
immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 4 hours. Whisk the cream briefly before using.
To assemble, place the meringues on plate(s) and fill the center(s) with the curd, dividing it evenly. Top with whipped cream and the mango cubes. If you like, squeeze the passion fruit seeds and pulp over the top of each pavlova, then serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our
cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.