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English Cherry Pavlova

English Cherry Pavlova

Makes: 6

  • 600g fresh English cherries
  • 300g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 8g leaf gelatine
  • 6 egg whites
  • 200ml double cream


Preparation:

  • Remove the stones from 500g of the cherries, reserving 100g whole cherries for the decoration at the end.
  • Line a deep 30cm x 20cm baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3.
  1. Place the pitted cherries in a baking tray, sprinkle over half of the icing sugar and bake for 40 minutes until the cherries are soft. Remove from the oven and strain the juice from the cherries into a bowl.
  2. Turn the oven up to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
  3. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Lift out and squeeze the leaves, then add them to the warm cherry juice and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until set.
  4. Tip the baked cherries into a blender and blend to a smooth purée. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge until serving time.
  5. Put the egg whites into a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until thickened. Add the remaining icing sugar and continue whisking to a meringue that is firm enough to hold a ribbon trail when the mixer is lifted.
  6. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the meringue evenly over the lined tray to a thickness of about 3cm, keeping it textured on top. Place the tray in the oven, close the door, and immediately turn the oven off. Leave the meringue in the oven for 6-8 hours (this is best done last thing at night so that it is ready when you wake up).
  7. To serve, lightly whisk the cream. Spoon the crisp but chewy meringue on to individual plates and layer with the cream, cherry jelly and cherry purée. Decorate with the reserved whole cherries and dust with icing sugar.


TIPS
The cherry purée can be added to bought vanilla ice cream to make cherry ripple ice cream.
Clotted cream can be used instead of double.

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