Wednesday, February 22

Orange & Pomegranate Pavlova, Vanilla & Rose Syrup

Why is pavlova always with strawberry or berry fruits?  I cooked the most full on roast dinner last Sunday and was pretty sure everyone would be stuffed. Pavlova seemed like the ideal 'light' option for dessert but with seasonal fruits.  It went down a treat, clean plates all round.  Now I am sure I will cop some flak for using a ready made meringue base....but why not? Its just egg whites, sugar and hassle. Sure I'll make them from scratch in the pub, but for my friends at home....just cheat, I'm sure they will forgive! Mine fe six, but four greedy people could easily demolish this.

Unwaxed Oranges (Blood Oranges if you can get them) - 5
Pomegranate - 1
Ready made meringue base - 1
Double cream - 500ml
Vanilla pod - 1, seeds scrapped out
Caster sugar - 150g
Water - 50ml
Rose water - 25ml

Zest 1 of the oranges and add to a mixing bowl. Whip the cream with the zest, and 50g of the sugar until the soft peak stage is achieved - set aside. Using a sharp knife, segment the orange. I have included a link here showing you how to do this: Squeeze any juices from the orange remains into a small saucepan. Next cut the pomegranate in half. Holding the pomegranate half in one hand with fingers splayed - pip side down - bash the pomegranate base all over with a rolling pin to release the seeds. They should fall from between your splayed fingers onto the work surface or into a cunningly placed bowl.

Next make your syrup by bringing the remainder of sugar, water and orange juice to the boil. When the sugar has dissolved add the vanilla seeds and half the rosewater. Now, depending on how much orange juice you added, you may need to reduce the syrup a little. Boil until the syrup has the consistency of hot honey. Add the remainder of the rose water and assemble the pavlova. 

Place your meringue base on a nice serving side and add a layer of cream, orange segments and pomegranate seeds. Layer more cream and fruit and repeat one more time to make three layers with a final sprinkling of fruit on top. Drizzle liberally with the syrup and serve immediately.

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