Cherry pavlova with vanilla cream

The deep contrast between sweet-sour cherries and rich, nutty pistachios is a winner in Matt Tebbutts recipe
By Matt Tebbutt
Cherry pavlova with vanilla cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pavlova

  • 4 egg whites
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 75 g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped

For the cherries in stock syrup

  • 200 ml water
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 orange, zest only
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 400 g fresh cherries
  • splashes kirsch

For the cream

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
  • splashes kirsch, liqueur

To serve

  • 50 g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 130C/gas mark ½.

2. For the pavlova: whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar and whisk continuously until all of the sugar is incorporated and the egg whites form stiff peaks.

3. Mix together the cornflour, vanilla extract and white wine vinegar in a bowl, then fold into the egg whites with the dried sour cherries.

4. Spoon or pipe the pavlova mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet into individual portions. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

5. For the cherry stock syrup: place all of the stock syrup ingredients, except for the cherries and kirsch, into a non-reactive pan. Simmer, stirirng frequently, until the sugar has dissolved.

6. Remove the stones and stalks from two-thirds of the cherries, then poach the stoned cherries in the sugar syrup until just tender, about ten minutes. Add a splash of kirsch to the cooking liquid, if preferred. Remove the cherries from the stove and allow to cool in the liquid.

7. Take a ladle of the cherry cooking liquid and bring to the boil in a clean saucepan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced to a semi-sticky syrup consistency.

8. For the cream: whip the double cream with the scraped seeds of the vanilla pod and a splash of the kirsch, until semi-stiff peaks form. Set aside.

9. To serve, toss the pistachio nuts with the icing sugar in a non-stick pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the pistachios are golden-brown and glazed. Tip out onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper and leave to cool completely before chopping.

10. Spoon a generous amount of the vanilla cream on to each pavlova and drizzle over the stoned poached cherries and the reduced sauce. Scatter over some toasted pistachio nuts and decorate with cherries with the stalks still on.

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