Pavlova is always good. Now it's even better.
‘Bursting with sweet, juicy goodness, apricots are the golden jewels of summer,’ says our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson.
Below on this page you’ll find Melanie’s recipe for a rather outrageously good pavlova, but apricots can make all sorts of dishes sing.
Tarte tatin, for example, can be made with apricots instead of the traditional apples. Simply melt 125g of caster sugar in a pan, whisk in 50g of butter, a few sprigs of lemon thyme and some halved apricots— cut side up —to fill the pan. Then, cut a sheet of ready-made puff pastry to fit, place it on top of the apricots, pushing the edges in around the sides, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate and dishing up with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe: Honey-roasted apricot and raspberry pavlova
- 150g egg whites
- 210g caster sugar
- 1tspn cream of tartar
- 1tspn white wine vinegar
- 8 apricots
- 3tbspn honey
- 300ml double cream
- 200g raspberries
- 50g toasted flaked almonds (optional)
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Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.
Draw a 20cm (8in) circle on a piece of parchment paper, then place it on a baking tray, ink side down, and set aside. (You can make individual meringues, if you prefer.)
To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar. Whisk on a medium speed until frothy and then increase the speed, mixing for a total of eight minutes, by which time it should be thick and glossy. Add the vinegar, give it a quick swirl to mix it through, then either pipe or spoon the meringue onto the prepared baking tray.
Add the tray to the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 160˚C/320˚F/gas mark 3 and cook for five minutes, then reduce the heat again to 120˚C/250˚F/gas mark ½ and leave to cook for an hour. Place a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it slightly ajar, which allows the heat to escape slowly — so avoiding cracks — and then remove the meringue from the oven to cool completely. It can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container for up to two weeks or frozen for longer.
Quarter the apricots, removing the stones. Arrange on a baking tray, drizzle with honey and bake for 20 minutes at 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4, so they’re juicy, but still holding their shape. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Whip the double cream until softly whipped and then spoon it onto the meringue. You can add icing sugar, but I always think there’s enough sweetness from the meringue and honey. Add the roasted apricots and then dot with raspberries, plus flaked almonds if you like.
Serve immediately. Pavlova is best eaten on the day it’s made, but refrigerated leftovers will still be delicious the next day.
Mark Diacono hasn't eaten a fresh apricot from a supermarket in years — here are his tips on how to grow