Saffron & Rose Poached Apricot Pavlova
Anjum Anand says: "I originally created this dessert recipe to enjoy during the Hindu festival, Holi, but it’s so tasty I now make it regularly for my friends and family. This exotic dessert is perfect during the warmer months, as it is exceptionally light but still packs a load of flavour. You can’t go wrong with this simple and easy to make pavlova which serves 6 people."
- 4 egg whites
- 250 g caster sugar plus 1 tsp for cream
- ½ tsp white wine vinegar
- 9 fresh apricots
- Large pinch of saffron
- 2 large pinches of dried rose petals or rose essence to taste
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 300 g double cream
- 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt (it should be very thick)
- 6 tbsp pistachios coarsely ground, plus a good handful for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place greaseproof paper on your baking tray. I like to put a little oil underneath so that it stays in place as you spoon the pavlova on to it.
- Place the whites, with no traces of yolks, into a clean whisking bowl and whisk until the eggs reach soft peaks.
- Add the sugar all at once and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is glossy and settles on the surface of the meringues in ribbons once a spoonful is dropped over. Add the vinegar and after a few beats add the coarsely ground pistachios and stir it in by hand.
- Form 6 equal sized small round meringues on the baking sheet. I like them rounded and quite natural looking. Place in the oven, turn the temperature right down to 120C and bake for 80 minutes and remove from the oven. Set aside. This can be made a day in advance.
- Half the apricots and remove the stone.
- Bring the water and sugar to boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the saffron and rose petals. Simmer for a few minutes and add the apricots. Poach until they are soft, around 4-6 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool in the syrup.
- When you are ready to eat, whisk the cream and extra sugar until it just holds its form. Stir in the yoghurt.
- Spoon over the meringues and top each with three halves of the apricots and a little syrup over the top. Sprinkle over the remaining pistachios and serve.
Recipe from Anjum Anand, author of I Love India and founder of The Spice Tailor, a range of authentic curry sauces, naans and deals (www.thespicetailor.com)