It might be perceived as a little peculiar to be making pavlova in winter, but sometimes it can be a welcome and refreshing change to just scrap the winter recipes and reminisce about summer days’ past.
In most supermarkets frozen berries are available throughout the year and although they don’t really get close to a punnet of fresh berries, they work perfectly well in a recipe like this one. I was lucky enough to find a punnet of golden gooseberries and they were actually the inspiration to these pavlovas right in the middle of this chilly spurt we’re experiencing.
Pavlova will always be associated with long, balmy summer days with cold fizzy drinks, smoked meat and cheese platters and a gorgeous crunchy meringue shell bursting with fresh cream, ice cream and sweet fruit. But this one has a tasty winter twist. Instead of fresh berries, a berry compote is cooked with the addition of cinnamon and star anise. Immediately flavours are warmer and aromas are more comforting. The pavlovas can now even be served warm with a creamy dollop of creme fraiche. It remains a fairly simple dessert, but it never, ever fails to impress. The textures in this dessert are diverse and quite pleasing on the palate.
Instead of creme fraiche, serve good quality vanilla ice cream with the pavlovas – if the weather permits. Although, few people can be prevented from enjoying a good scoop or two of ice cream, regardless the weather.
The compote can be made in bulk and kept in the fridge or freezer and simply reheated as needed. Its a lovely compote to enjoy over thick, steaming oats, with pancakes, fresh scones or simply over ice cream. Skip on the spices if it’s not you thing, but then add a vanilla pod – just for a touch of extravagance!
Make a whole bunch of pavlovas and keep them in an airtight container for about a week or two. They will only get a little drier, but still be as tasty as ever.