Gooseberry and toasted coconut pavlova

Gooseberry and toasted coconut pavlova

This showpiece pavlova by Angela Clutton anticipates summer’s arrival, combining floral elderflowers and early-season gooseberries. The soft-crunchy meringue is topped with silky curd, whipped cream, toasted coconut and elderflower sprigs.

Gooseberry and toasted coconut pavlova

Angela is a food writer, cook and presenter who also co-directs the British Library’s Food Season events. This recipe is taken from her third cookbook, Seasoning (Murdoch Books £30), and tested by delicious.

Picked more elderflowers than you need? Make a batch of classic elderflower cordial.

  • Serves icon Serves 6-8
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, plus cooling. Oven time 1 hour

This showpiece pavlova by Angela Clutton anticipates summer’s arrival, combining floral elderflowers and early-season gooseberries. The soft-crunchy meringue is topped with silky curd, whipped cream, toasted coconut and elderflower sprigs.

Angela is a food writer, cook and presenter who also co-directs the British Library’s Food Season events. This recipe is taken from her third cookbook, Seasoning (Murdoch Books £30), and tested by delicious.

Picked more elderflowers than you need? Make a batch of classic elderflower cordial.

Nutrition: Per serving (for 8)

Calories
573kcals
Fat
46g (28.7g saturated)
Protein
6.5g
Carbohydrates
75g (75g sugars)
Fibre
2.5g
Salt
0.2g

Ingredients

  • 350g gooseberries
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large free-range eggs, plus
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50g coconut chips or flakes
  • 500ml double cream
  • 30g icing sugar
  • Fresh elderflowers or other edible flowers to serve (optional)

For the meringue

  • 5 large free-range egg whites
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
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Method

  1. Top and tail the gooseberries, then put them in a medium pan with half the cordial, 50ml water and the bay. Gently simmer for 5 minutes until the gooseberries are just starting to collapse. Use a slotted spoon to lift out and set aside around 50g of the gooseberries, then cook the rest for another 5 minutes until fully collapsed. Discard the bay leaf, set aside the mixture to cool, then push through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl.
  2. Beat the whole eggs and yolks together, then add them to the gooseberry purée with the butter and sugar. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir for about 10-12 minutes until it thickens, then immediately push the curd through a fine sieve into another bowl. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge to chill and firm up for at least an hour.
  3. Heat the oven to 170°C fan/gas 5. Draw a circle roughly 23cm in diameter on a sheet of baking paper, then turn it over and line a baking tray with it. To make the meringue, put the egg whites in a scrupulously clean mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and whisk to stiff peaks (see Tips). Whisk in about a third of the meringue sugar, then add the rest a spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition. Keep whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy. Fold in the vinegar, then spoon the meringue into the circle on the paper, banking it up the sides a little to create a sort of nest.
  4. Put the meringue in the oven and immediately turn down to 135°C fan/gas 2½. Cook for 1 hour, then turn off – don’t open the door. Leave the meringue in the oven to cool completely (this helps stop it cracking).
  5. To build the pavlova, toast the coconut chips or flakes in a dry pan until lightly browned. Whip the double cream, icing sugar and remaining 25ml cordial together until thick but not stiff. Sit the meringue base on a serving plate, then spoon over enough curd for a layer of a few millimetres thick. Spoon over the whipped cream, then add the reserved poached gooseberries, the coconut, more curd and, if using, the elderflowers or edible flowers to decorate.

Nutrition

Calories
573kcals
Fat
46g (28.7g saturated)
Protein
6.5g
Carbohydrates
75g (75g sugars)
Fibre
2.5g
Salt
0.2g

delicious. tips

  1. Angela’s tips and know-how
    • This recipe makes more curd than you’ll need for the pavlova. That’s intentional and a very good thing – it’s fantastic on toast. See Make Ahead.

    • When cooking the eggs over simmering water for the curd, keep the heat low and go slowly for the smoothest, most luscious texture.

    • Use room temperature egg whites to make the meringue, as they whip faster
    and give greater volume than cold ones.

    • Fresh elderflowers are best picked on a dry morning, early in their season
    (late May to June) for the best flavour. Don’t wash them, just gently shake to
    dislodge insects and use them as soon as possible.

     

    • Use leftover egg yolks within a few days to make mayonnaise, custard or ice
    cream or add to scrambled eggs, omelette or quiche

  2. The curd can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the fridge. The meringue can be baked in advance and kept in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By:

Angela Clutton

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