Today we had an Arcadia reunion at Kate’s to make Pavlova. It wasn’t much of a reunion because we all see each other almost every day anyway, but it was great to see Kate and Eugene for the first time since our Arcadia Weekend in Raglan and Waitomo. When we got off the bus at Smales Farm, on the North Shore, we were greeted by Kate and she led the way to her home.
Lyssa, Marjie, Kate, Amanda, Caroline and I
Kate’s house was absolutely beautiful and it had a magnificent view of the water. I warned her that I might just be her neighbor one day. After we took off our coats and got settled, the baking began. Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a crisp crust and a soft inside. It is also very sweet! It is a rather simple recipe and is often served for celebratory meals and on holidays. To me, this would be a summer time treat and I am looking forward to making it for all of my family and friends when I return. Each of us were given different tasks and mine was to slowly pour the sugar into the mixing bowl, tablespoon by tablespoon to create the airy, light meringue. I took this job with pride and I was very meticulous with each pour.
The oven was already preheated to 120c (please note this is Celcius)! Pavlova is enjoyed the most when it is left overnight, so Eugene had made two for us yesterday and the Pavlovs we were making today Kate is bringing to a family party she has tomorrow. After the meringue was complete, Marjie splashed it on a baking tray. When she was done we put it in the oven and took the two that were ready out.
Then Kate split us into two teams and our task was to decorate the two Pavlovas. This was a competition and my team-Lyssa, Caroline, Chris and I-were pretty confident we were going to win. We were given lemon curd, part of a chocolate bar, a clementine, a gold kiwi and a green kiwi. We first put a layer of the Lemon Curd Kate had already made on top and covered that with a layer of homemade whipped cream. We immediately thought of the idea to create a Kiwi Bird on our Pavlova and in no time our fruit was cut up and Chris had drawn the outline in the creamy top. We were very careful about alternating kiwi fruit colors and made sure each piece was cut perfectly for the Kiwi’s shape.
After 20 minutes it was time to present and we were just putting the finishing touches on. When Kate was done taking the sausage rolls out of the oven and setting up the table for afternoon tea, each team presented their masterpieces.
I had the pleasure of presenting for our group and Ryan presented for his group (Marjie, Dan, Ryan and Amanda). Kate and Eugene conversed for a couple of minutes to choose the winner and our team was awarded the prize- chocolate bars for all! It was then time to dig into the satusage rolls, cut the Pavlova and enjoy our warm tea and coffee. We had a lovely day at Kate’s and I am so excited to be able to make this traditional New Zealand dessert.
Please enjoy the recipe below!
Pre Heat oven to 120c
Use a clean glass or metal bowl
3 Egg Whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat egg whites until stiff (forms peaks). Add sugar – heaped tablespoon at a time – beating well after each addition. This should take at least 10 minutes. Then sprinkle vinegar, cornflour and vanilla essence into mixture. Beat until blended.
Spoon onto baking paper on a baking try – make a cake like shape. Put into oven for 1 hr then turn oven off and leave in warmth for as long as possible – I try and leave it in overnight.
Lemon Curd: make this if you want to use up the egg yolks, otherwise just put a layer of cream first and then decorate with fruit.
3 egg yolks, 1 tsp grated lemon peel, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ cup sugar, 50 grams butter.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and put bowl on top of a pot with boiling water, turn element on to keep water hot while you stir the mixture until it thickens a little – about 10 mins. Leave it to cool and it will become very thick.
Decorate pavlova with lemon curd, whipped cream and fruit on top. Think of NZ when you eat it!