Passionfruit pavlova with a salad of summer melons

Passionfruit pavlova with a salad of summer melons

By
From
Botanical
Serves
4
Photographer
William Meppem

This refreshing version of the famous pavlova uses an ultra-light passionfruit mousse, and a tangy passionfruit curd makes the marshmallow-like meringue even more irresistible. I have paired it with a healthy salad of ripe summer melons, to ease the guilt of this wickedly popular dessert.

Pavlova

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
15ml water
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
150g caster sugar
85ml egg whites

Passionfruit curd

Quantity Ingredient
5 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100ml fresh passionfruit juice
20ml lemon juice
125g butter, softened
about 25 ml pouring cream for thinning, (optional)

Passionfruit sauce

Quantity Ingredient
100ml Stock syrup
8 passionfruit, pulped
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

Melon salad

Quantity Ingredient
200g seedless watermelon
200g honeydew melon
200g rockmelon
25ml kirsch, optional

Garnish

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Passionfruit sorbet
1 quantity Passionfruit mousse
100g caster sugar
100ml water
2 oranges, peeled with a swivel peeler and skin finely julienned
lemon, squeezed

Method

  1. Begin with the pavlova. Preheat oven to no more than 90–100°C.
  2. Combine the water, vinegar and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and reduce almost by half, then allow to cool.
  3. Use a food processor to whisk the sugar and eggs, first ensuring the bowl is extremely clean and cool (at the restaurant we wipe the mixing bowl with a cloth moistened with vinegar). Beat until the sugar and egg whites form thick and shiny stiff peaks, then add the chilled reduced vinegar and continue to whisk for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe onto a silicone-lined baking tray. Use a stencil – say of a coffee cup – to get you started. Start piping from the middle of the circle in a circular fashion until you have filled the circle, then repeat this process working upwards, until you have gone up 3–4 layers in a cone shape with a narrow peak. Repeat to make 4–6 cones – extras can be useful if some are not perfect.
  5. Put in the oven for about 40–45 minutes. The pavlovas will be ready when they feel crisp to the touch on both the top and bottom.
  6. To make the curd, set up a bain marie. Place the egg yolks, sugar and juices in a bowl suspended over it and whisk furiously to a thick ribbon stage. Remove the bain marie from the direct heat and allow to cool slightly, whisking occasionally, then incorporate the butter until thick. Transfer to a tray or shallow metal bowl to cool quickly and, once cool, refrigerate.
  7. Prepare the passionfruit sorbet and mousse.
  8. To make the sauce, boil the stock syrup then take off the heat and add the passionfruit pulp and finely shredded lime leaves. Whisk until the liquid is cool and then refrigerate.
  9. To make the candied orange garnish, boil the sugar and water together over a low heat. Add the shredded orange and cook gently for about 10 minutes until a thick syrup forms and the orange appears to have caramelised. Add a squeeze of lemon, stir and allow to cool.
  10. To make the melon salad, scoop out all melon flesh using a melon baller, reserving the juice as you go. Put the melon balls into a bowl and pour the juice over. Add kirsch if desired, and chill in the refrigerator before serving.
  11. With a warm biscuit cutter 6 cm in diameter cut out 4 perfect circles of the passionfruit mousse and arrange them carefully on individual serving plates. Working quickly, top each with a pavlova cone, then spoon the thick passionfruit curd (you may need to thin it down using a little pouring cream) over the mousse. Neatly cover the top of the pavlova with one spoonful of the curd, then arrange the melon salad alongside. Top with candied orange zest and place a scoop of sorbet alongside. Spoon a generous drizzle of passionfruit sauce over and around the melon salad. Serve immediately

Chef’s note

  • The pavlova cones will keep for up to a week in an airtight container. They are excellent with ice-cream, poached fruit and Chocolate Sauce, for a quick dessert.
Tags:
restaurant
chef
high end
cuisine
Botanical
complex
challenging
fine dining
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