After a lavish main course, you can lighten things up a little with a sweet, velvety, melt-in-the-mouth dessert. And nothing says ‘celebration’ quite like a pav, the perennial Aussie favourite with its sublime combination of delicate meringue and exotic fruit. This recipe should be shared far and wide – and our version is even gluten free, so it’s really the perfect pav to please the crowd!
1 medium pineapple, skin removed
Pinch of cream of tartar or pinch of salt
1½ cups caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract or
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp gluten-free cornflour
600ml thickened cream
450g tub gluten-free lemon curd (we used Anathoth Farm)
6 passionfruit, pulp removed
Preheat oven to 120°C. Line 2 large oven trays with baking paper. Thinly slice pineapple and arrange over prepared trays. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn pineapple slices over and swap trays. Bake for a further 40 minutes until dry and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.
Draw a 20cm circle in the centre of a piece of baking paper. Turn the paper over and lay it on an oven tray, pencil-side down.
Put eggwhites in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar and beat, using whisk attachment, until soft peaks form.
With motor running, add sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined and meringue is thick and glossy.
Add vanilla extract or paste, vinegar and cornflour. Beat until just combined.
Spoon meringue into the marked circle and, using a large spatula, form it into a round, lifting scoops of meringue from base to top around the edge to achieve the desired shape. Bake for 1½ hours or until meringue is crisp. Turn oven off and leave meringue to cool with the door ajar.
Transfer to a cake stand. Put cream in clean bowl of electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold through lemon curd.
Spoon cream onto meringue. Top with passionfruit pulp and baked pineapple. Serve.
Instead of fruit, try topping your pavlova with chocolate and caramel. Spoon on cream, then top with roughly chopped chocolate or sweets such as Maltesers, Mars Bars, Snickers, or Toblerone. For added decadence, fold a rich, thick chocolate sauce or caramel sauce through the whipped cream, or just drizzle it directly over the top.