Imagine meringue that’s crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, coupled with the summery tang of fragrant berries. Notoriously, the strength of rose water brands differs, so taste your ice-cream mix, adding more until the taste comes through. Once you’ve made the meringue, this recipe is superquick. It’s completely delicious either served straight from the freezer or thawed until the cream is soft.
© 2019 Claire Kelsey / Simon & Schuster · Reproduced with permission.
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Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Line a flat baking tray with baking parchment or a silicone mat.
In a large, scrupulously clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they become lush and snowy. Add half the sugar and continue whisking for a minute, or until the mixture starts to look glossy. Add the rest of the sugar and the cornflour, and whisk until you have a thick, shiny, viscous meringue. To see if it’s ready, a good test is to hold the bowl upside down. Does it hold? If yes, it’s done; if not, sorry, you’ll want to clean that up.
Spoon the meringue into a round pile on the baking tray. As long as the meringue is thick enough, it will behave and won’t seep towards the edge. If it’s too runny and you face culinary emergency, simply scrape it back in and pour it into a lined 10 in/22 cm cake tin instead.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40 minutes – although keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes, as oven temperatures vary. Let the meringue cool gradually by turning off the oven but leaving the tray inside it. The oven will also be at the perfect temperature to make the rose decoration.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Lightly whisk the egg white with a fork, then pick off the best petals from your rose, and dip them into the whites, or smooth egg white over each with your finger. Dust with sugar and lay them on the baking tray. Put the tray into the oven when you have turned it off to cool your meringue, or reset the oven to its lowest temperature to dry the petals for 40 minutes. When they cool down, the petals will crisp.
Reserve 10 raspberries to decorate the top of the dessert. Mash the rest with a good squeeze of lemon and 110 g/31⁄2 oz/generous 1⁄2 cup of the icing sugar.
Mix the rose water and remaining icing sugar into the cream. Whip it until it holds its shape but remains soft. Fold in the raspberry mixture. If the mixture produces marbling, rather than a uniform pinkness, that’s okay. Taste and add a little more rose water, if necessary.
Spread the mixture over the top of your meringue, leaving a good couple of inches of the crust showing at the edges. Top with the reserved raspberries. Freeze the pavlova for at least 2–4 hours.
If it’s been in the freezer all night, let it thaw for 10 minutes before serving. Dot the rose petals over the top before you bring it to the table.