By Mindi Ison
When I married 55 years ago I could not cook. I had a Law Degree but no practical abilities for married life save that I had attended a term on a baking course and the one cake I learnt to bake was a pavlova. I have been baking them ever since for all sorts of joyous occasions.
There are various versions but my favourite is a lemon pavlova which I like to make in a 11″ quiche dish which I wipe lightly with sunflower oil.
Ingredients for the basic pavlova
4 (large) egg whites
225 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
112 g caster sugar
3 generous tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon lemon rind
150 ml soured cream
200 ml whipping cream to decorate
Place the egg whites in a bowl, a Kenwood or whatever other electric mixer you use and turn the speed to full on adding a pinch of salt. Whilst the whites are beating mix the cornflour in to the castor sugar and sieve into a bowl. When the whites are stiff add a desert spoon of the sieved sugar mixture and whisk until stiff. Repeat until all the sugar mixture is finished.
NB This procedure takes a little time but do not be tempted to add more than a spoon at a time and do not add the next spoonful until the egg whites are stiff again. I do a few exercises between the spoonfuls. It is very good for ones figure to make up for eating the pavlova.
Finally beat in the vinegar and vanilla.
Spoon the stiff mixture into the quiche dish building up the circumference so that it looks like a low wall. But as the pavlova expands leave the wall a few centimetres from the side of the dish.
Place in a cool oven gas 1. electric 275 f 140 c.
After 1 hour turn the oven off and leave pavlova in the oven until it feels firm to the touch. I usually leave it overnight as I only seem to find time to bake in the evening.
Place egg yolks and sugar in a thick bottom pan and beat with a wooden spoon until pale and creamy. Add the lemon rind and lemon juice and then place pan on a very low light and stir continuously until the texture of mayonnaise. Turn off the light and the lemon will thicken up further as it cools.
When it is completely cold stir in the sour cream and spoon into the base of the meringue. Place in the freezer. Meanwhile whip up a small carton of whipping cream or double cream with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and spread on the frozen lemon. Put back in the freezer and leave until about an hour before you need the cake and then decorate with fresh fruit such as raspberries and kiwi. Return to the fridge till needed.
Enjoy. The contrast of the sharp lemon and sweet meringue is delicious even after 55 years of tasting.