Coconut and Lime Pavlova with Tropical Fruit!

 

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The rumour of warmer weather by the weekend has inspired me to think of summer foods and where better place to start than with a pavlova? Our hens are coming into full lay so we have plenty of eggs to use for the meringue. One of my favourite fruits is a papaya and, as luck would have it, I found some in the supermarket today hence my idea for a tropical fruit version of a pavlova. I’m making a lime curd to spread over the base of the cooked meringue, which I will then top with whipped cream and an assortment of tropical fruits. My mouth is watering just at the thought of it!

The Meringue Base:

The meringue for a pavlova should be soft and chewy with a crispy outside and this is achieved by the addition of cornflour and white wine vinegar after the sugar has been mixed in.

You will need:

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the whites of 4 large eggs

250g of caster sugar

1½ teaspoons of cornflour

1½ teaspoons of white wine vinegar

25g of dessicated coconut

a few drops of coconut flavouring

Method:

  • preheat the oven to 150°C
  • line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and mark onto this a circle of about 10″ diameter
  • whisk the egg whites until they are stiff
  • add the caster sugar a little at a time until it is all mixed in, mixing well between each addition
  • blend the cornflour and white wine vinegar together and add this mixture to the meringue
  • lastly, fold in the dessicated coconut plus a drop or two of coconut flavouring
  • spread the meringue out onto the circle, making it higher at the sides than in the middle
  • bake the meringue for 1 hour then turn the oven off, open the oven door and leave the meringue in the oven to cool

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The Lime Curd:

For this you will need:

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4 egg yolks

75g of caster sugar

50g of butter, cubed

the juice and rind of 2 or 3 limes (you will need 4 fl oz of juice)

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  • measure the sugar into a heat proof bowl and add the grated lime rind
  • in a jug, whisk together the lime juice and egg yolks
  • pour the lime juice mixture onto the sugar and rind and sit this bowl on top of a pan of gently simmering water
  • add the butter to the bowl and stir everything together gently as it heats through

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  • after about 20 minutes the curd will have thickened sufficiently, so remove it from the heat and put it to one side to cool

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Whilst the meringue and lime curd are cooling, prepare the fruit for the pavlova topping. You may of course use any fruit you wish, but I chose an assortment of tropical fruits – papaya, mango, passion fruit, orange, banana and kiwi fruit. You could also use a bit of poetic licence and add a few red grapes for colour!

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When both the meringue and lime curd are completely cold it is time to assemble the pavlova:

  • spread enough lime curd onto the base of the meringue to cover it

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  • whip the cream to soft peaks (if you wish you could fold a little bit of finely chopped stem ginger in to the cream for an extra zing!)
  • pile the cream on top of the lime curd and then add your chosen fruits to the top of this

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Cut a large slice of pavlova, pour yourself a glass of something chilled and sparkling and enjoy the tastes of summer!

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