I’m not pretending by any means that this Pavlova is healthy, it does after all contain one cup of sugar but it would be a lot more calorific if it was doused in the usual way with lots of whipped cream. Instead this version uses thick Greek yogurt which gives the Pavlova a lovely tang. You could substitute plain yogurt for vanilla, coconut or a fruit flavour such as passionfruit. My favourite thing though about this Pavlova is the roasted plums adorning the top. Plums when they are roasted have amazing flavour, sweet and sharp with a wonderful deep red colour. The roasting syrup from the plums is then liberally drizzled over the Pavlova just before serving along with some chopped pistachios. This would be a delicious light, and gluten-free, dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Ingredients – Serves 6 Adapted from Heinstirred
For the Meringue
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoon corn starch
2 teaspoon white vinegar
Roasted Plums & Sauce
6 plums, halved and stoned (less ripe plums will hold their shape better)
4 and 1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup water
pinch of salt
2 cups full fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons sauce from the plums
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A handful chopped pistachio nuts
for the meringue: Preheat oven to 220C. Place baking paper on a baking tray and by using the bottom of a 22cm round cake tin or a 34cm x 11cm rectangular flan dish, draw the outline of the base on the paper. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until stiff peaks form. While the beater is still running add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until all the sugar has been mixed in and the meringue is thick and glossy. Sift the corn starch over the mixture, add the vinegar and mix well until combined.
Scoop the mixture onto the drawn lines and shape the meringue within the drawn lines, making the edges higher than the middle of the meringue. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150 degrees C and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 120 degrees C and bake for another 45 minutes. Switch the oven off and let the meringues cool inside the oven. Once cool, turn the meringue over and carefully remove the baking paper and place in a serving dish.
For the roasted plums: Preheat oven to 200C. Take 8 prettiest halves and place in a deep roasting dish. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons of honey. Pour the water onto the bottom of the pan. Roast the plums for 20 – 30 minutes until cooked. Chop the remaining plums into chunks. Place in a small pot with the remaining 1 tablespoon honey, water and salt. Simmer for about 15 minutes (keep an eye on it and stir regularly) until the plums have cooked down and disintegrated. Cool and pass through a sieve to get a smooth sauce. Check the sweetness of the sauce but remember the meringue is very sweet.
For the yogurt filling: Mix the yogurt with the vanilla, sugar and syrup. To Assemble, spoon the yoghurt mixture on top of the meringue. Place the roasted plums on top. Drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with the pistachios.