There should still be plenty of late summer sunshine for a few weeks yet; but already that unmistakeable autumnal tang is in the air first thing in the morning.
Try these autumn themed Pavlovas: as crisp and light as an autumn breeze! Fabulous as a pudding, of course, but also as an afternoon treat with a cup tea.
The recipe is sufficient for 6 mini Pavlovas but make one big one if you prefer. Golden caster sugar works beautifully, and is nicely autumnal, but use standard white for sparkling white meringues if you prefer.
2 large fresh egg whites
- 100g golden caster sugar
You will need an electric hand whisk or manual rotary whisk and a large baking tray lined with baking parchment
Preheat oven to 100C (fan oven) or equivalent
Whisk the egg whites until lightly stiff in a clean, grease-free bowl.
Add a tablespoonful of sugar, whisk in and continue whisking in a spoonful at a time until all the sugar is incorporated – don’t over-whisk.
Space the meringue into 6 circles on the prepared tray: smoothing them into shape and building up the edges slightly.
Bake for an hour or until they peel away from the paper easily. Leave in the cooling oven with the oven door ajar to finish drying out until completely cold.
Store in a completely dry airtight container.
Blackberry and Apple Topping
The tartness of the Bramleys, enhanced further with lemon juice, works really well with the fragrant blackberries, sweet meringue and cool, smooth cream.
500g Bramley apples
- 200g blackberries
- 75g golden granulated sugar plus a further 25g
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod
- 300ml softly whipped double cream
Peel and core the apples. Cut into quarters, cut each quarter into 3 vertically and 3 across to form even size chunks. Toss in the lemon juice.
Cook gently, retaining the lemon juice, and adding the water, plus 75g of the sugar, for around 5 minutes until just tender but retaining shape.
Drain with care, reserving the juices, and set aside. Cook the blackberries gently in the apple juices until just tender and the colour runs. Remove the blackberries with a slotted spoon, reserving the juice, and combine gently with the apple chunks. Chill.
Add the remaining 25g sugar to the juices with the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick.
Cook the juices briskly for approximately 3 minutes until beginning to bubble and thicken into a light syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Swirl the whipped cream over the Pavlova base and arrange the chilled fruit on top. Offer the syrup separately.
A little golden icing sugar, sifted over the top is a nice finishing touch: particularly if infused with vanilla, see below.
Take care not to over-whip the cream: if it’s too stiff it will tear the fragile meringue as you spread it. Greek yoghurt works well as an alternative to the whipped cream.
Rinse and dry the vanilla pod and use to infuse a jar of icing-sugar.
Lovely and Easy Blackberry and Autumn Raspberry Topping
It’s worth growing both summer and autumn varieties of raspberries in your garden if there’s room. That way you can nip out and pick a few delicious home-grown raspberries all the way through summer and into the autumn.
Simply top the meringues with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and fresh blackberries and raspberries. Shake some sieved icing sugar over the top – ideally golden icing sugar that has been infused with vanilla.
Meringues will keep for up to 6 weeks in a completely dry, airtight container.