I inherited my love of meringue from my mother. For as long as I can remember we have both adored the crisp white cakes, with a marshmallowy inside. Like madeleines, meringues really are better when you make them yourself – the shop ones are too white, too sweet and too powdery without the chewy soft inside which makes a meringue so special.
I do not know why people are scared of meringue. There really is very little that can go wrong. You must have a squeaky clean bowl, and this is one occasion where you do not want freshly laid eggs. Use 1 and a half times sugar to the weight of the eggs and you are all set. Whenever I have a spare egg yolk I freeze the white in my silicone muffin pan and then store in a plastic box until I am ready to make meringues. Here I used a mix of white and soft brown sugar to give a light toffee fudge flavour to the meringue.
This is the perfect pudding to have a few days after Christmas, it will use up the remains of the leftover Christmas pudding, looks impressive and tastes delicious. You can make the Pavlova a good week in advance and store in an air tight tin. The spiced oranges will keep for a week in the fridge and are also good with cold meat and cheeses. Whip up the cream, crumble in the Christmas pudding and you have an impressive centre piece in about 5 minutes, no one will know they are eating leftovers! Please do not worry about the small amount of vinegar in the oranges – it cuts through the sweetness and adds some acidity and balance.
The oranges are based on a Diana Henry recipe – slice an orange, cut into semicircles and cover with water with a splash of white wine vinegar, generous spoonful of sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods. Gently simmer until the oranges are soft. Alternatively the remains of some homemade cranberry sauce would go well instead.
Recipe: Christmas Pudding & Spiced Orange Pavlova
3 egg whites
About 100g white caster sugar (1 times the weight of the eggs)
About 50g soft light brown sugar (½ times the weight of the eggs)
300ml double cream
3 tbs juice from the spiced oranges or orange liqueur
125g / 4oz leftover Christmas pudding – crumbled
Spiced oranges in syrup to serve
Preheat the oven to GM2 / 150C / 300F.
Whisk the egg white with 1/2 tsp of the sugar either in a stand mixer, or with a hand held electric whisk until white and frothy. Add the sugar gradually whisking all the time until the meringue stands in soft peaks.
Turn out the meringue onto a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and shape into a next about 9? accross.
Sprinkle with some edible glitter and place in an oven pre heated to GM2 / 300F / 150C, immediately turn the oven down to GM1 / 275F / 140C. Cook for about 40 – 50 mins. When the Pavlova is hard and sounds hollow when lightly tapped then turn the oven off and allow to cool inside the oven.
Whip the cream and syrup or liqueur until it holds soft peaks, stir in the Christmas pudding and fill the meringue, arrange the orange slices on top.
Sending this to Turquoise Lemons’ No Waste Challenge where the theme is Christmas leftovers.