When the month of December finally arrives, our thoughts start to turn to holidays, how many days of work we have left, how many christmas presents we need to buy at the last minute and the menu for christmas lunch. Christmas time is that time of year when its not weird to begin planning what to eat for one day at least a month in advance!
The one thing we love about Christmas being during summer in Australia, is that you can still enjoy traditional christmas food such as turkeys and ham, but the stress factor can be minimised by cooking these easily in a BBQ in the back yard and then serving it with roast vegetables and fresh clean salads. I always love planning the dessert for Christmas day as summer time means there is so much beautiful fruit available that can be used in nearly any dish to give a delicious finish to a meal.
Pavlova is one of my favourite desserts (Sorry NZ but I’m going to have to say it is a traditional Australian dessert!) but really I don’t care who invented it, i’m just glad someone did because it is divine! I love the crunchy outside, the soft marshmallow meringue and the simple finish of cool cream on top. Paired with summer fruits it makes my mouth water. We decided to wish you all a merry christmas and created this summer berry layered pavlova. Not only does it make a sensational centre piece for the christmas table, it uses cherries and raspberries which are just delicious at this time of year and always look very festive. One of the other things about this recipe is that it is quite easy but looks impressive – an easy recipe at Christmas is a winner.
We created 3 meringue bases, layered them with whipped cream and added cherries and raspberries in between. The final meringue went on to and a mountain of cherries, raspberries and few blueberries topped with icing sugar finihsed it off.
We did learn along the way that you might want to make this recipe in a very well air conditioned kitchen or on a day in December when it is NOT over 30 degrees. Raspberries love to weep and dribble their beautiful juice and meringue can be very fiddle to handle on a hot day. I pretty much created an eton mess on Alex’s kitchen bench.
However, the finished product tastes like summer, a very delicious summer. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. We look forward to bringing you more yummy recipes in 2013.
– Alex and Rani
- oil spray
- 5 eggwhites
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 600ml cream, whipped
- 400g cherries, 200g of which are pitted and quartered
- 200g raspberries
- 100g blueberries
- icing sugar to dust
- Preheat oven to degrees celcius or 110 degrees celcius fanforded
- Using a pencil, draw 3 18 cm circle on 3 pieces of baking paper.
- Spray oven trays lightly with oil and place the paper on them pencil side down
- Beat eggwhites until soft peaks form
- Add sugar gradually beating well after egg addition until thick and glossy.
- Beat in vanilla
- Spread the meringue onto the trays within the pencil lines
- Bake for 1 hour, swapping the trays from top to bottom shelf half way through
- After 1 hour, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven with the door ajar to cool completely.
- To serve, place on disc of meringue onto a serving plate.
- Spread with one third of the whipped cream and top with half the quartered cherries and half of the raspberries and blueberries.
- Top with another disc of meringue, half the reaming cream and all the remaining quartered cherries, raspberries and blueberries.
- Place the final meringue on top and spread with the remaining cream. Pile the wholes cherries on top and dust with icing sugar.