Lemon & Prosecco Pavlova Recipe

Our Boxing Day is to us as important (if not more!) than the big day itself. It's our huge family day with all 3 of my dad's siblings round and their respective families plus usually my grandparents and some family friends for good measure! It all kicks off after our Boxing Day 5K which a few years ago was the biggest boxing day run in the country! While slightly smaller now, we still get a local beer as a congrats at the end and usually wonderful weather so it makes it all worth it (despite my little legs meaning I always come last out of the family entrants...). To refuel all of these hungry runners a huge buffet is of course necessary and ours has quite the reputation. All of the wonderful cold cuts of baked ham, turkey, beef and my dad's famous poached whole salmon with the classic cucumber scales... Add this to pork pies and cheeses to boot and you've quite the feast! 

Desserts are always welcomed, particularly when everyone's had a little bit too much to drink and we're 4 rounds in to whatever game we've chosen for that year (the classic 3 ball snooker is one I'll have to explain to you another day)! I usually do a super-luxe chocolate log with a filling of chocolate spread, mini marshmallows and vanilla cream but this year I decided to try a pud I've never given a go - a pavlova. We had an honorary Aussie in our midst so it seemed more than fitting and after making the hollandaise for Eggs Royale for Christmas Day brekkie, it was a no brainer with all those whites spare! 

A few of you have asked for the recipe since I posted its picture in all its glory on Boxing Day eve so I thought I'd post it! I love Nigella's basic recipe but as it's Christmas it desperately needed some glamour and as it so often does in my life, Prosecco called... This is also perfect for a New Year's Eve/Day spread or indeed any time over the holiday season! 

Lemon & Prosecco Pavlova

Serves 10-12

For the meringue:

6 egg whites

375g caster sugar

2 tsp. cornflour

1 lemon, zest and 2 tbsp. juice

2 tbsp. Prosecco

 

For the topping:

A good slosh / 7 tbsp. / 100ml Prosecco

100g caster sugar

2 lemons, zest and juice

450ml double cream

2-3 tbsp. lemon curd, warm

Couple of handfuls of berries

Recipe:

Draw a 10" circle on a piece of baking parchment and turn it over onto a baking tray and set your oven to 180c. For your pav base, whisk up your eggs whites for 5 minutes or so until they have reached very stiff peaks. Slowly add your caster sugar a spoon at a time and then continue beating for a good few minutes until the meringue is lovely and glossy and holds it shape well. 

Add the cornflour, lemon zest and juice and the Prosecco and give a quick whisk to incorporate. Dot a couple of splodges of meringue onto your baking sheet to secure the paper and then spoon the meringue within the circle you've drawn. Pop into the oven and then turn it down straight away to 150c. Bake for an hour and then leave in the oven with the door cracked open with a wooden spoon overnight. It'll probably crack but gosh darnit, it's a beautiful thing when it does so fear not.

About an hour before serving, in a large bowl dissolve the sugar in the Prosecco and lemon juice. Add the cream and then whip until a lovely soft and fluffy texture is achieved. Lay your serving plate gently on top of the meringue and flip over. Dollop the cream lovingly across it in an even layer and scatter the berries atop it too. Warming the curd makes it far easier to scatter across the top so a couple of minutes on the stove should loosen it and with a spoon, you can leave little morsels of delight dotted across the pav to your heart's content! Enjoy with an extra glass of bubbly...

I'll upload my recipe for a yummy curd recipe very soon so keep an eye out! 

Katherine Frelon & Christmas At Borough Market

It is well and truly Christmas time by the river as Borough Market's lights are switched on, the tinsel is up and the shopping hours are longer... what a dream! A couple of week's ago I popped along to an evening of all things festive (after a mega day at the bakery) and met Katherine Frelon, the self-confessed 'scatty chef' to see what she was up to for Christmas. The smells that joined us as we entered the cookshop were of the most seasonal kind and we were handed a deliciously hot mug of mulled cider to welcome us in. What better way to greet guests than to hand them a yummy mug of warmth?! 

Warm pans bubbling away on the stove and a stunning table decoration really set the scene for our evening. We started with a demo in edible gifts- personally my favourite kind. With all sorts of little plates of deliciousness adorning the table we couldn't wait to get stuck in and soon were adding them to our lovely marbled chocolate slabs that we'd so carefully smushed together... I say smush as mine was a one handed effort, in order to capture everything going on! My favourite addition was the Turkish delight from the wonderful Turkish Deli downstairs in the market. The pistachios from Oliveology were some of the greenest I've ever seen and looked so beautiful with everything else on the marbled chocolate, I'm definitely going to be giving this a go for my own gifts! I reckon I'd probably temper the chocolate and do little puddles instead however as the bar was yummy but I think would be prettier as little pieces in a bag rather than a chunky one - I still enjoyed eating it one sitting a few evenings later however... 

This year I've been doing loads of late nights book editing or recipe writing and to keep me going in the evenings I've been trying all sorts of different decaf drinks to get me through. Katherine had the perfect solution with her little bags of joy! Packed full of anything we liked, added to apple or cranberry juice and warmed through, or indeed any spirit of choice, they make the perfect winter warmer. I chose cranberries, cinnamon and orange for mine and have used them each about 4 or 5 times in apple juice to great success! I've dried them thoroughly on the radiator between uses though to make sure they haven't started to go off. 

Our last little treat was a run through of Katherine's making process of her delicious Christmas Chutney. I'll be making a batch this week so keep an eye out for the recipe! We paired it with some insanely good cheeses. The aged gouda was from Borough Cheeses, the Lord London cheese (rumoured to have been served at the Wills & Kate wedding breakfast!) was from Alsop & Walker and Bianca e Mora provided the Truffle Cows cheese - all of which we piled high on bread and smothered in the chutney. It was the perfect blend of sweet and spiced and would make any cheeseboard sing! 

Katherine's Big Plan for Christmas is that you can spend only 60 minutes in the kitchen on Christmas Day! She'll be testing this theory by showing you how in her demo's at the Borough Market Demo Kitchen on Thursdays between 12.30 and 14.00. Pop along to see her do her thing each Thursday in December, finishing with a total run through on the 15th! If you're a planner like me, this sounds like the ultimate dream so come down and see me scribbling away on the front row - also perfect distance for tasting anything Katherine creates on the days!