Last month when the cooking group I belong to decided that a tropical dessert is what we’d do this month and I said, “Sure, no problem, whatever you want to make.” I was fine with that decision until I started to shop. What WAS I thinking? This month was to celebrate the end of summer. Only up there, folks!
Today is the first day of Spring in Australia. There IS no tropical fruit yet. I had this great idea that I’d go to the farmer’s market first thing on Saturday morning (today) and pick up something wonderful. I just knew someone would have just the right thing.
The farmer people let me down.
I found 3 nearly dried out passionfruit, 2 pretty tired pineapples, a few kiwi fruit and some strawberries. The vegetables looked terrific but the fruit was dismal. I looked at John and said, “Why do I get myself into these messes??” He said it was because I always said yes without thinking. I said, “shut up.” He said, “you asked!” I rolled my eyes.
I decided we must have missed something so we needed to go back through. It was like looking into a pantry thinking something new would be there from the last time you looked 15 minutes ago. I gave in and bought the 3 tired passionfruit and came home.
I certainly will be on the bottom of the cooking ladder with this one but I have to say, it was really good. I knew I’d be a day late but better a day late than no dessert at all. You nearly got a chocolate pie made with a frozen crust.
You can make meringues with as few as 2 egg whites but I wanted to make ice cream and that meant I needed 5 egg yolks, so that’s why my recipe calls for 5 egg whites. When making meringue I always use 1/4 cup of superfine, caster or fruit sugar per egg white so no matter what I’m making that requires egg whites, I know just how much sugar to add. I also put just a bit of white vinegar in there too in order to stabilize the egg whites.
…and yes, I know this is the standard pavlova dessert. I got an email a while back from someone who said she really didn’t like pavlova and would prefer that they were made like an ordinary meringue (??). So I decided if I ever posted another recipe, I would call it a soft meringue and then nobody would be timid about trying it. (there is NO difference in a meringue and a pavlova)
- 5 egg whites
- 1¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 scant teaspoon white vinegar
- Whipped cream, sliced fruit or berries and passionfruit to serve
- Preheat oven to 115C / 239F
- Place room temperature egg whites into a mixing bowl and whip with a balloon whisk until frothy.
- S l o w l y add the sugar while beating on high
- Continue beating until you can’t feel the sugar when you put a bit of meringue between your fingers.
- Either spoon or pipe the meringues onto a baking tray covered with baking paper or a silpat. I used a spoon because I wanted it to be quick and rustic.
- Bake for 1 to 1½ hours, depending upon how crunchy you want the outside of your meringues. I like mine crunchy.
- When the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool. (if you need the oven they can come out – I leave them in there because my mother left them in there)
- Top with whipped cream, sliced fruit and a drizzle of passionfruit
Please check out what my fellow baking club members whipped up for tropical dessert month. If you’d like to join us – it’s just for fun – and we’d love to have you.
The Deep Dish
Simply Sweet Justice
From My Sweet Heart