Benjamina's plum pavlova
Bake Off star Benjamina Ebuehi shows us how to whip up a simple but delicious plum pavlova that the whole family will love.
Serves 6 Prep: 30 minutes, plus cooling timeCook: 60 -75 minutes
Ingredients250g caster sugarSqueeze of lemon150g egg whites (see tips)2 tsp cornflourFor the plums:300g ripe plums, stoned and cut 660g caster sugar1 tsp ground cinnamonTo decorate:600ml double cream1 ½ tbsp icing sugar1 tbsp vanilla bean pasteHandful pistachios, roughly chopped
Method 1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Add the sugar to a deep baking dish lined with parchment paper and heat in the oven for about 5 minutes. This will make it easier for the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites. Once heated through, remove the sugar from the oven and set aside.
3. Reduce the temperature of the oven down to 100C/gas 1 ½. You can leave the door open slightly to help speed this up.
4. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add the lemon juice and use a paper towel to wipe this around the entire bowl. This helps to eliminate any traces of grease that might prevent the meringue from whipping up. Add in the egg whites and whip on low speed for a minute before increasing the speed to high to make the whites foamy.
5. Once the egg whites have stiff peaks and with the mixer still running, start adding in the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Allow 10-15 seconds before adding in the next spoonful.
6. Once the sugar has been added, whisk the whites for a further 2 minutes until thick and glossy. Add in the cornflour and whisk briefly to combine. Spoon the meringue into a mound onto the lined baking tray in one large layer.
7. Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes or until the meringue is firm to the touch and can peel away from the parchment easily. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool completely for at least two hours but preferably overnight.
8. For the plums. Place the plums in a pan with the sugar, cinnamon and 1-2 tbsp water. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until just softened. Set aside to cool.
9. To decorate: Place the cream, icing sugar and vanilla into a large bowl. Whip the cream until thickened and it can just hold soft peaks - careful not to over whip.
10. To assemble: Generously spoon the cream onto the meringue, top with plums and spoon on some of the plum syrup. Decorate with chopped pistachios and serve straight away.
Tips- To ensure the egg whites whip up properly, there needs to be no traces of fat in the bowl. Remove any residue grease by squeezing lemon juice onto kitchen paper and wiping around the inside of the bowl before using.
- Egg whites are available in most supermarkets in the chilled aisle. If unavailable weigh and separate around 5 eggs instead. Freeze the yolks or use to make scrambled eggs.
- Whisk the egg whites using an electric hand whisk if you do not have a stand mixer, it will just take a little longer to whisk.
- Use any fruit of your choice to decorate, cooked frozen or canned fruit will also work well.