Strawberry Pavlova

This is our Perch Hill version of Sarah Mead’s favourite summer pudding. She uses strawberries from The Cheddar Gorge. 

For 8

For the meringue:

  • 110g granulated sugar
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

For the filling and topping:

  • 2-3 punnets of strawberries, hulled and halved (I think the more the merrier)
  • 275ml double cream
  • Splash of brandy/sherry/sweet wine (optional)
  • Caster sugar, to taste (optional)
  • A couple of tablespoons of strawberry (or blackcurrant/raspberry) coulis, to serve
  • Edible flowers

Preheat a cool (160°C/gas mark 3) oven.

To make the meringue, mix the two sugars together. Whisk the egg whites until they are really stiff and continue whisking while you add three-quarters of the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure that the mixture regains its former stiffness and finally, carefully fold in the remaining sugar with a metal spoon.

Add the cream of tartar and vinegar. Sparsely oil 2 circles of greaseproof paper (or use silicon mats) and divide the mixture between the two, spreading it out as lightly as possible.

Cook in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the meringue is crisp and has turned coffee-coloured. Turn off the heat and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven before removing from the baking sheet.

To make the filling, prepare the strawberries. Then whip the cream (with a tot of brandy, sherry or sweet wine – if you fancy) and possibly sugar to taste.

Sandwich the 2 meringue layers together with the cream and a layer of strawberries between. Add some cream to the top and more strawberries and drizzle strawberry coulis (or blackcurrant or raspberry to make it less sweet) over the top.

Serve with some edible flowers – some rose petals or English garden pinks to jazz it up even more