Here’s my easy Pavlova recipe

Don’t you just love the summer (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration in Scotland just now because the weather’s been colder than usual!). The summer fruits are starting to taste really good and so it’s time to make pavlovas. Several years ago I was given a tip on an easy pavlova recipe and I decided to share it –

I use the whites of three eggs and a full cup of caster sugar; a tiny pinch of salt; a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence or extract.

To make the meringue, I place half the sugar in a very clean bowl, add the whites of eggs and the tiny pinch of salt (actually, it’s more like a few grains of salt on a teaspoon). Whisk these ingredients together to form stiff peaks of meringue (it’s possible to turn the bowl upside down and the meringue stays in the bowl!) After this stage, add the rest of the sugar slowly, making sure it’s incorporated evenly. Finally add in the vinegar and vanilla essence.

I usually make individual pavlovas – placing a tablespoonful of the meringue on a greased paper. Make a little hollow in the meringue so that you can later fill it with fruit and cream. Depending on how generous you are with your portions, you can get 8/9 portions of pavlova. I cook mine in an electric fan oven at 120C for approximately an hour. Allow to cool. You can store these for several days so this is one great recipe you can do in advance of a dinner party.

Be creative when you decorate the pavlova – strawberries and/or raspberries are traditional, but all sorts of other fruits make a great accompaniment for this. I try and add a dash of strawberry or raspberry sauce for some additional color – but plum compote would also look dramatic.