Raspberry Ripple Pavlova with Honey-Charred Nectarines

I don’t generally make many puddings. We only ever had them growing up if it was a special occasion, and that mentality has just stuck with me. So I’m not really sure where this came from: there wasn’t an occasion, a celebration or a birthday – I just really, really wanted pavlova. So I made this.

It’s so much fun to make – the vivid swirls of pink raspberry against the crisp, clean meringue are really beautiful. And although the visual effect fades on baking, the taste does not; you’re left with a heady, fragrant raspberry tang that was just made for the pillowy meringue. Charring the nectarines brings out their natural sweetness, and leaves stripes of caramel across the juicy flesh. The lemon thyme, too, is a gorgeous addition: it gives a hint of savoury that stops the whole thing becoming saccharine, while also adding a light, lemony freshness.

Ingredients:
– 350g raspberries
– 2 tbsp icing sugar
– 6 egg whites
– 300g caster sugar
– 2 nectarines, stoned and sliced into wedges
– 1 tbsp melted butter
– 1 tbsp honey
– 300ml double cream
– 150ml natural yogurt
– 2 tbsp icing sugar
– sprigs of lemon thyme, to serve

1. Begin by making the raspberry sauce. Mash 250g of the raspberries with the icing sugar in a bowl, until you have something resembling jam. Tip this into a sieve, and use the back of a spoon to push through as much of the raspberry juice as possible so you’re left with a smooth, shiny sauce. Discard the seeds (or save to stir into porridge or flapjack), then cover the sauce and store in the fridge until needed.

2. Preheat the oven to 160°C, and cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your largest baking sheet. Use a pencil to draw a circle onto the paper 24cm in diameter, then grease the baking sheet; put the paper on top, pencil side down. Use an electric whisk to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then, still whisking, add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Whisk for another 5 minutes, until your mixture is stiff, glossy and smooth.

3. Drizzle 3 tbsp of the raspberry sauce into the meringue mix, and stir just once to incorporate slightly. Spoon the mixture into the circle on the prepared baking sheet, then use the back of the spoon to make an indentation in the centre. Transfer to the oven, then immediately turn down the temperature to 120°C. Bake for 2½-3 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until cooled completely.

4. Preheat a griddle pan to medium-hot. Mix the melted butter the honey, then toss the nectarines in the mixture to coat. Place onto the griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes each side, until charred. Set aside.

5. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt and icing sugar. Spoon onto the cooled meringue, then top with the charred nectarine slices, the remaining raspberries and the lemon thyme. Drizzle with the remaining raspberry sauce to serve.

 

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