|Image Source: Taste.com.au|
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
225g unsalted butter, cut into small dice
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 1/2 cups thickened cream, whipped
250g fresh raspberries
Icing sugar, for sifting
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 120C (100C if using a fan-forced oven). Line a large baking tray with baking paper and draw a 22cm circle on the paper. Turn the paper over so the writing is on the underside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add caster sugar, beating on medium-high speed for about 10 mins, or until firm glossy peaks form. Beat in vinegar, vanilla and salt. Sift cornflour over meringue and gently fold it in.
Using a large serving spoon, dollop meringue into the centre of the circle on the prepared tray. Spread decoratively, keeping it within the circle and forming a slight dip in the centre (the meringue will expand slightly as it bakes).
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the meringue is crisp on the outside but still has a marshmallow-like centre and puffs ever so slightly. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, and leave the meringue in the oven to cool completely. Run a palette knife under the pavlova to loosen it from the paper, then carefully slide onto a platter.
Meanwhile, to make the curd, cut the passionfruit in half and scoop their pulp, juice and seeds into a medium heatproof bowl (you should have 2/3 cup). Whisk in the sugar, eggs and egg yolks to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water) and stir gently for about 15 mins, or until curd thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in butter. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold.
Fold 2/3 cup of the curd through the cream to create a rippled effect. Spoon on top of the meringue. Drizzle with another 1/2 cup of curd. Arrange raspberries over the top and dust lightly with icing sugar. Serve with remaining curd.
TOP TIPS FROM CURTIS:
COOL TRICK - To keep the pavlova crisp on the outside but marshmallow-like on the inside, let it cool in the oven after baking. Turn the oven off, then prop the door open slightly and wait until the pavlova is completely cool before you take it out.
GREAT SHAPE - For the perfect-shaped pav, dollop your meringue mixture into the shape you've drawn on the paper, making sure not to go outside the line. Leave a little dip in the centre to make room for your toppings, and add a few peaks - these give texture to the finished pavlova.
TOPPING TACTICS - A tart fruit topping balances the sweetness of the meringue. This is a delicate dessert, so if you're taking the pavlova to a party it's a good idea to bring your topping separately and assemble it just before serving.
AIR ALERT - When you've finished beating your meringue mixture, you don't want to knock any of that air out, so don't bang the beater on the side of the bowl and be gentle when adding the cornflour - just sift it over and fold to combine.
STICKY SOLUTION - Using a fan oven? Try sticking down the corners of the baking paper with a tiny bit of meringue mixture - this stops it flapping up in the oven and hitting the side of your pavlova.