Sugar plum pavlova
Prep time: 40 mins
Recipe photograph by Kris Kirkham
This is a great prep-ahead pud when you want something glamorous for dessert but don’t want to be fussing around with food mixers while you’re roasting the turkey. Make the pavlova and spiced plums the day before and then all you have to do on the day is whip up some cream
Prep time: 40 mins
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Nutritional information (per serving)
Our Food Director Sarah is a food obsessive, and spends most of her time scoping out the latest food trends, experimenting in her own kitchen, or making her family wait to eat while she photographs every dinner she makes for the 'gram! A complete Middle Eastern food junkie, she is never far from a good shawarma marinade, a pinch of Aleppo chilli or a sprig of dillSee more of Sarah Akhurst ’s recipes
- 5 medium egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
For the spiced plums
- 9 plums (about 600g)
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 200g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- pared zest from ½ orange
- 300ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 30g pistachio kernels, finely chopped
Step by step
Prep to the end of step 3 up to 2 days ahead; store the pavlova in an airtight container and the plums in the fridge, but bring them back to room temperature an hour before serving. Assemble up to 2 hours before serving. Best eaten on the same day.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper for the meringue. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks in a large bowl or free-standing mixer. Add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking until it is stiff and glossy, then whisk in the cornflour and vinegar. Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2.
- Secure the baking paper to the baking sheet with a little blob of meringue at each corner, then pile the meringue on top in a circle, measuring about 22cm in diameter. Smooth the sides with a palette knife, then use it to drag the meringue up and create an indented pattern around the sides, and a slightly hollowed centre. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 110°C, fan 90°C, gas ¼ and cook for a further 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn the oven off, leaving the pavlova inside until the oven is completely cold.
- For the spiced plums, quarter and stone the fruit and place in a shallow dish with the brandy and sherry; leave to steep while you make the syrup. Put the brown sugar, spices, orange zest and 200ml of water in a pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until syrupy. Add the boozy plums and cook for 8-10 minutes or until softened. Transfer the fruit to a shallow dish using a slotted spoon. Reduce the syrup until quite thick, then pour this over the plums. Leave to cool completely.
- When you are ready to assemble, whisk the cream and vanilla to soft peaks. Carefully transfer the pavlova to a serving plate and fill the centre with the whipped cream. Spoon over the spiced plums and drizzle with the syrup. Scatter over the chopped pistachios and serve immediately.