A delicious winter pavlova that uses up leftover Christmas pudding, and served with spiced oranges. Ideal for an after Christmas lunch party
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.
Winter Spiced Orange Pavlova
For the Meringue and filling
- 3 egg whites
- 100 g white caster sugar ((or the weight of the egg whites))
- 50 g soft light brown sugar ((or half the weight of the egg whites))
- 300 ml double (heavy) cream
- 125 g leftover Christmas pudding
For the Oranges
- 1 large orange (sliced and cut into semi circles)
- splash of white whine vinegar
- 1 dsp sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- cardamon pods
To Make the Meringue
- Preheat the oven to GM2 / 150°C / 300°F.
- Whisk the egg white with half a teaspoon of the sugar. Add the rest of 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. Shape into a nest about 9 inches across.
- Sprinkle with some edible glitter and place in an oven pre heated to GM2 / 300°F / 150°C, immediately turn the oven down to GM1 / 275°F / 140°C. Cook for about 40–50 mins. When the pavlova is hard and sounds hollow when lightly tapped, turn the oven off and allow to cool inside the oven.
To Make the Spiced Oranges
- Slice an orange into narrow slices and cut these in half to make semicircles. Put the orange slices in a pan.
- Cover the orange with water. Add a splash of white wine vinegar, a generous spoonful of sugar, a cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods.
- Gently simmer until the oranges are soft. Allow to cool and then keep in the fridge until you are ready to assemble your Christmas pavlova.
- Drain the oranges, reserving the syrup. Whip the cream together with the syrup from the oranges or with a spoonful of your favourite liqueur, until the mixture holds soft peaks
- Stir the crumbled Christmas pudding into the whipped cream mixture very gently, so as not to lose air from the cream.
- Fill the meringue nest with the cream. Then arrange the orange slices on top. Serve your winter spiced orange pavlova immediately.