Pavlova is a classic Australian dessert consisting of a baked meringue base, usually topped with lashings of whipped cream, berries, kiwi fruit and other summer fruit. It’s made appearances at summer BBQ’s, picnics and Christmas parties all over Australia. It’s also a great way to use up leftover egg whites, a little problem that is constantly overrunning my freezer.
But how about a winter version? This pav uses brown sugar for a slightly caramelly taste, which is perfect topped with your favourite winter fruit. It was inspired by the dessert from Mumu Grill in Crows Nest, which I tried for the first time at the Slow Food dinner last year, and again last weekend at Billy’s photography workshop (stay tuned!)
I adapted a recipe from Gourmet Traveller, which was topped with bananas and rum syrup, however I decided to use stewed rhubarb on mine. It’s an absolutely lovely dessert, especially with my favourite dessert wine, Mr Riggs Sticky End Viognier from McLaren Vale, which I had to go all the way to Adelaide to find! The pavlova itself comes together easily, with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
It would make a lovely addition to your next dinner party, and you can top it with any fruit you like – perhaps pineapple and passionfruit like Mumu’s version, or stewed caramel apples and pears. The choice is yours!
Brown Sugar Pavlova
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller
• 4 egg whites
• 150g caster sugar
• 120g brown sugar
• 10g cornflour
• 1 teaspoon white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 400ml thickened cream
• 200g rhubarb, cut into 4cm lengths
• 3-4 teaspoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Whisk eggwhites with a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then with motor running, gradually add caster sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick and glossy. Add 70g brown sugar, whisk until sugar is incorporated and mixture is glossy. Fold in cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract.
Spoon meringue into an 18cm diameter mound, or four smaller mounds on a baking paper lined oven tray and bake for 2 hours. Turn off oven and cool completely.
Meanwhile, place rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water. Set over low heat and cover, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until rhubarb is tender but still holds its shape. Allow to cool. To serve, whisk cream and remaining brown sugar together in a bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon on top of pavlova. Top with stewed rhubarb.