Food: Festive pavlova
Shortly before serving, whisk the cream in a large bowl to fluffy peaks and spoon on to the centre of the meringue
6 large egg whites at room temperature
35g white caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
300g red plums
30g caster sugar
juice of ½ lemon
300ml double cream
thinly sliced fresh figs or berries or seasonal fruit
pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios for scattering
icing sugar for dusting
★ Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Cut out a circle of baking paper about 23cm in diameter and place this on a baking sheet. Whip the egg whites in a large bowl using an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks, then scatter over the caster sugar a few tablespoons at a time, whisking well with each addition. Gradually whisk in the cornflour, then the vinegar, until you have a stiff, glossy meringue.
★ Spoon the meringue on to the paper circle, taking it almost to the edge, and swirl the top with the spoon. Place in the oven, reduce the temperature to 130C/110C fan/gas ½ and bake for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before peeling off the paper and placing the meringue on a serving plate.
★ For the drizzle, slice around each plum to the stone and place in a small pan with the caster sugar and lemon juice. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring as necessary, for 15 minutes or until the plums are soft and sitting in a pool of juices. Discarding the stones, whiz the plums in a processor with 3 tablespoons of the cooking juices to a smooth purée. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.
★ Shortly before serving, whisk the cream in a large bowl to fluffy peaks and spoon on to the centre of the meringue. Arrange your figs, berries or seasonal fruit on top and swirl over the drizzle. Scatter over a few pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios, dust with icing sugar and serve as soon as possible.