10 medium free-range egg whites
500g caster sugar
for the cream filling
600ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp brandy
for the topping
150g caster sugar
250ml dark rum
2 pomegranates, seeds removed
1. Preheat the oven to 110°C/fan90°C/gas ¼. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper, then draw a 25cm circle on one and a 15cm circle on the other.
2. Whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl with a hand-held electric mixer (or in a stand mixer) until they form stiff peaks. While whisking, add the 500g sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture is thick and glossy.
3. Spoon about two thirds of the mixture onto the 25cm circle, then the remainder onto the smaller circle. Use the back of a large spoon to spread the mixture, filling the circles completely and making pretty swirls and peaks. Transfer to the oven and cook for 5 hours. At the end of cooking, turn off the heat and leave in the oven to cool completely.
4. For the topping, use a sharp knife to peel away the skin and white pith from the clementines, then slice them into thin rounds and place in a large bowl. Put the 150g sugar in a deep pan with a splash of water and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has melted. Bring to the boil and bubble vigorously over a medium heat to give a dark golden caramel. Remove from the heat, then pour in the rum (it will splutter, so be careful). Don’t worry if the caramel seizes (firms up) – stir over a gentle heat and it will soften again.
5. Pour the caramel over the clementine slices, then set aside to cool. Add the seeds from the pomegranates to the bowl.
6. When ready to assemble, whip the cream with the icing sugar in a large mixing bowl until just holding its shape, then add the vanilla and brandy. Strain the fruit, reserving the caramel and juices. Place the large meringue on a flat serving plate, spoon over two thirds of the cream, then spoon over some of the fruit. Top with the smaller meringue, then pile on the remaining cream and fruit. Put the reserved caramel in a small, heavy-based pan and bubble over a gentle heat until reduced and thickened. Briefly dip the bottom of the pan in a sink full of cold water to cool slightly, then drizzle the caramel over the fruit-covered pavlova and serve.
- Make the meringues up to 3 days in advance. Put in sealed plastic containers or on baking sheets, wrapped well in cling film. Store in a cool, dry place. Keep the egg yolks to use for custard, mayonnaise, ice cream and many other dishes. Store the yolks by adding 1 to each space in an ice-cube tray and adding a pinch of either salt or sugar, depending on whether you want to use them in sweet or savoury dishes. Freeze, then remove to labelled freezer bags for up to 3 months. Sieve before using.