Prep time:

Cooking time: 2 hours

Total time:

Serves: 6

6 Large Egg Whites

640g Caster Sugar

1.5tsp Cornflour

1.5tsp Vanilla Essence

1.5tsp White Wine Vinegar

For the Syrup and the Fruit:

300ml Red Wine

150ml Water

Pinch of Grated Nutmeg

Pinch of Ground Mixed Spice

Pinch of Ground Cinnamon

1 Strip of Lemon Zest

1/2 Orange studded with 10 cloves

100g Sugar

6 Ripe Pears, peeled

6 Dark Plums

To Fill:

600ml Double Cream

2tbsp Icing Sugar, sieved

2tbsp Brandy

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For the Pavlova:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 100°C. Place parchment paper on a baking tin and draw a 26cm circle.
  2. Whisk the egg white until stiff, then add a tablespoon of sugar and whisk in the sugar and keep on repeating until all the sugar is incorporated and the egg white is stiff and glossy.
  3. Add the cornflour, vanilla essence and vinegar and whisk in lightly. Spoon the meringue mixture on to the parchment circle and with the back of a spoon make a hollow in the centre, so that you have a ledge around the perimeter.
  4. Pop in the cool oven for 2 hours and then turn the oven off and leave in the oven, preferably overnight.

For the syrup and fruit:

  1. Put all the ingredients, except the pears and plums, in a large pan and simmer for 15 mins.
  2. Add the plums and poach very gently for approximately 15 mins, or until just soft.
  3. Remove the plums and add the pears and poach for 20 minutes or until just soft.
  4. Let the plums and the pears cool in the syrup before using.

To fill:

  1. To assemble, whip the cream with the icing sugar and brandy until soft peaks.
  2. Spread a layer of cream in the base of the Pavlova and then cover the cream with pears and plums, spoon more cream on top of the fruit and top with the remaining pears and plums.
  3. Decorate with blueberries, blackberries or redcurrants.

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether

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Chef’s tip: I use paper loaf tin liners in a loaf tin or you could use non-stick baking paper and, of course, you could do a circular one in a cake tin but make sure it is a spring clip...