Impress a crowd with this delicate blackcurrant dessert
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1¼ hours
• 4 large egg whites
• 225g/8oz caster sugar
• 2 tsp cornflour
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp white wine vinegar
• 450g/1lb fresh blackcurrants
• 2 tsp cornflour
• 3 tbsp caster sugar
• 300ml/½ pint double cream
• 200g carton half fat crème fraiche
1. To make the pavlova line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper and draw a 23cm/9" circle, turn the paper over.
2. Preheat the oven to 130C (110Cfan) mark ½.
3. Put the egg whites into a large clean bowl and whisk until stiff. Gradually add two-thirds of the sugar a tablespoonful at a time, whisking between each addition. Mix the cornflour into the remaining third of sugar and add all at once and whisk until very stiff and glossy. Carefully fold in the vanilla and vinegar.
4. Scoop the meringue onto the paper and push the meringue out to fill in the circle, creating a dip in the middle, flick the meringue into peaks or swirls around the edge.
5. Bake in the oven for 1¼ hours or until firm and crisp around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. The meringue may very well crack and sink a little, transfer to a flat serving plate.
6. While the meringue cooking, put the blackcurrants into a pan with 3 tablespoon water and gently bring to simmer, cook for 1-2 minutes until the juice just begins to run from the fruit and colour the juices.
7. Blend the cornflour with 2 teaspoons of water, add to the pan and simmer until the juices have thickened. Turn the blackcurrants into a bowl to cool.
8. When ready to assemble, whip the cream until softly peaking, fold in the crème fraiche then add half of the blackcurrants and fold about four times to create a swirled effect. Pile this onto the pavlova, gently spreading it to the edge then spoon over the remaining blackcurrants and syrup.
Health Benefits of British blackcurrants:
• Have a very high Vitamin C content, making them great for fighting colds and winter ailments.
• Have a high antioxidant content, which can help protect against ageing, joint inflammation, eyestrain, kidney stones and urinary infections.
• The high levels of antioxidants in blackcurrants can also help fight against cardiovascular disease, cancer and ageing
• British blackcurrants are renowned and bred for their deep purple colour, which indicates a high level of anthocyanins - important disease-fighting antioxidants.
• Blackcurrants are amongst some of the richest naturally occurring sources of Vitamin C.
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