Nigella Lawson’s rose pavlova with passionfruit and strawberries recipe

Nigella Lawson said the flavours of the rose and pepper pavlova with passionfruit and strawberries “sounds so bold”, yet the dessert tastes “so delicate”.

“My maternal grandfather used to eat strawberries with a grinding of black pepper,” she revealed. “He insisted it made their berries freshness sing.”

Nigella added: “I prefer to add it to the pavlova base, pairing its perfumed warmth with some rosewater.”

The chef claimed her rose pavlova base has a liking to “Turkish delight”, but only in the slightest of ways.

Here’s how to make Nigella’s rose and pepper pavlova with passionfruit and strawberries.

Rose and pepper pavlova with passionfruit and strawberries

Makes: eight to 12 servings

Ingredients

For the base:

  • Six large eggs (at room temperature, whites only)
  • 375gs caster sugar
  • Two-and-a-half teaspoons of cornflour
  • One quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Two teaspoons of white wine vinegar
  • Half a teaspoon of rosewater

For the topping:

  • 300g strawberries
  • Three passionfruits
  • Two teaspoons of caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F) and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

In a grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Sprinkle the cornflour, pepper, vinegar and rosewater over the meringue, then, by hand, fold everything until it is thoroughly mixed in.

Mound onto the lined baking sheet in a fat disc (approximately 22cm in diameter), smoothing the sides and top.

Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C (130°C fan/300°F) and bake for one hour.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool; once cold, turn the pavlova base onto a large flat plate. Hull each strawberry and cut into three slices, putting them into a shallow bowl as you go.

Cut the passionfruit into halves then, using a small sieve over a bowl, spoon the juice and seeds into the sieve, pressing all the juice out into the jug.

Discard the seeds, then pour the juice over the strawberries and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Now whip the cream until thick and airy but still soft, and spread on top of the pavlova base, working all the way to the edges so that it is evenly covered.

Spoon the strawberries over the top — the swirls of cream will catch some of the golden yellow of the passionfruit — and serve.

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