These strikingly pretty meringues are much easier to make than you might think. They are ideal for a dinner party as all the component parts can be made ahead of time. The quantities here are enough to make eight, as
we find the recipe doesn’t reduce terribly well. However, any uneaten meringues will keep very well for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.
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To make the apple jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in a dish of cold
water for a couple of minutes, until soft and slippery then squeeze
them to get rid of any excess water. Heat up 50 ml (2 fl oz) of the
apple juice and whisk in the gelatine until it dissolves. Mix it back
into the rest of the juice then pour into a small shallow container and
transfer to the fridge to set.
To make the pavlovas, preheat the oven to 120 0C (235 0F) and line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.
Put the egg whites into the scrupulously clean bowl of a stand-mixer.
Add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and the salt and whisk on a
slow speed until the mixture begins to foam. Increase the speed to
high and whisk until the foam thickens to form smooth, soft, glossy
peaks. Sift on the remaining caster sugar, a little at a time, whisking
as you go, to firm peaks. Finally, sift on the icing sugar and cornflour
and whisk in briefly until incorporated.
Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1 ½ cm ( ¾ in)
nozzle. On each of the prepared baking trays, pipe 4 pavlova
‘flowers’, spacing them well apart. Start with a walnut-sized central
blob, then surround it with 6 more blobs, to form pretty flower-like
meringue nests. Aim to get the peaks of the outer blobs pointing
inwards, if you can. Use a knife to flatten the central meringue; this
will form a base for the filling. If you feel the flowers are beyond
your piping skills, then form the traditional swirled meringue nests.
Bake the pavlovas for 1 . hours until they are ivory-coloured and
crisp. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before
very carefully lifting the meringue flowers onto wire racks to cool
When ready to serve, cut the jelly into small cubes – they don’t
have to be precise. Fill the central cavity of each meringue with a
generous spoonful of vanilla labneh. Top with fresh raspberries
and a scattering of jelly cubes. Add a splash of rosewater and serve