This show-stopper meringue is bursting with some of the season's favourite flavours. It’s a good idea to make one once you're nearly done with the oven after a day of baking and roasting. Once cooked, turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool in there until the next day. Mix up and use roasted fruit or pre-made caramel sauce instead of chestnut puree if you fancy.
6 large Burford Brown egg whites (keep the yolks in the fridge for another day)
300g caster sugar
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon icing sugar
300ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
200g mixed berries (red currants, raspberries)
1 clementine or tangerine, peeled into segments
4 tablespoons sweetened chestnut puree
Pre-heat the oven to 120c/250f. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and draw a 30cm circle on it as a template.
Place the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean mixing bowl and whisk with a hand held or freestanding electric mixer until stiff peaks have formed. Add the caster sugar a spoon full at a time, whisking the whole time then add the sea salt and vanilla extract. Continue to whisk for around 8 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. To test this take a pinch of mixture between your finger and thumb and rub together. If it’s a little gritty continue mixing.
Spoon the mixture on to the lined baking sheet using the back of the spoon to create peaks. Place the pavlova in the oven for around 1 hour and 20minutes or until set a crisp. Once baked switch off the oven and allow the oven to cool down completely. Once cooled you can keep the pavlova in an air tight box for around 3 days in a cool dark place.
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve remove the pavlova from the oven and pre-heat to 200c/400f.
Line a small roasting tin or baking sheet with grease proof paper. Rinse the pecans under cold water in a sieve and tip into a roasting tin whilst wet, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon icing sugar, toss together and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until toasted and crunchy.
Meanwhile pour the cream into a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoons icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk to soft peaks and place to one side.
Wash fruits, quarter the figs. Place the pavlova on a serving plate or board and spoon over the cream, spoon the chestnut puree on top and arrange over the fruit. Scatter over the caramelised pecans and dust over a little ground cinnamon.