We are such fans of the incredible work of self-taught cook Clementine Day that we asked her to create a special Christmas recipe for the Gingerfinch community. Take a look below. And if you purchase a copy of Clem's new cookbook Coming Together, we'll pop in a recipe card for the Pav!
Pavlova with Crème Fraiche, Fresh & Pickled Cherries.
By Clementine Day
Pavlova is such a great classic. It’s a big tradition in my family to have a pavlova for Christmas dessert, as I’m sure it is for many families. This is a pretty-fail safe recipe, so long as you add the sugar slowly and really make sure it is completely dissolved before putting in the oven. The cornflour, cream of tartar and vinegar help to stabilise the egg whites and I’ve found that this, along with the right oven temperatures prevent cracking during cooking.
I also don’t leave the oven door ajar when I let it cool, I just turn the oven off, leave the door closed and leave it to cool for a few hours or overnight. Because of this, it’s a great one to make the night before and then all you need to do on the day is dollop over your cream and cherries.
6 egg whites
320g caster sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of cornflour
300g cherries, pitted
250ml red wine vinegar
75g caster sugar
3 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Rind of 1 orange
400ml Crème fraiche
400ml pure cream
300g fresh cherries
200g fresh redcurrants, optional
For the pavlova, preheat oven to 180 C.
1 - Trace out two a 15cm diameter circles on a piece of baking paper and lay on a rectangular baking tray.
2 - In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
3 - Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. I use setting 8 on my KitchenAid, just below high. You want each addition of sugar to completely dissolve before adding the next. Don’t rush this. I like to test it by rubbing a small bit of the mixture between my fingers to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and it’s not grainy. Continue this until all sugar is added and beat until stiff glossy peaks once all is added.
4 - Add cornflour, vinegar and cream of tartar and beat again on low until just combined, then return to just below high and beat for a few more minutes. It should be very glossy and holding its shape very easily now. If you have any graininess from the sugar at this stage continue beating until it’s completely dissolved.
5 - Spoon out the mixture onto the circle marked on the baking tray. Try to make it as round as possible and use the back of a spoon to create fun swirls and peaks in your meringue.
6 - Place in the oven and drop the heat to 110 C. Cook for 1.5 hours.
7 - When finished, turn oven off but do not open the door. Let cool completely in the oven for 4-5 hours or even overnight.
For the pickled cherries, preferably you would make these at least a few days before serving with the pavlova. You want to give them some time to take on the flavour of the spices and vinegar. If you don’t have time, the day before will be fine, but not as good.
8 - Firstly, wash and pit the cherries. Then, in a medium sized saucepan add vinegar, water, sugar and salt and bring to the boil. Once boiled, add the cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves and orange rind. Take off the heat.
9 - Place your washed and pitted cherries into a sterilised jar and pour over the hot pickling liquid. Seal and store in the fridge until ready to use them.
10 - When you’re ready to serve your pavlova, whisk your cream until dollopy thick and fold through your crème fraiche. Place one of your rounds of pavlova down onto your serving plate, dollop over the cream and top with fresh cherries and pickled cherries. Repeat this again with the second layer, and add the red currants too, if using.
About Clementine Day
Clementine Day is a self-taught cook who lives and works on Wurundjeri Land in Melbourne, Australia. She runs Some Things I Like To Cook, an evolving project that celebrates the joy of food, drawing a meaningful connection between food, people and play.
With a relaxed and unfussy approach, Clementine’s recipes empower even the most inexperienced of cooks to create memorable experiences based around the simple act of eating and entertaining. She is passionate about encouraging others to have fun and trust their intuition in the kitchen, and her candid, refreshing approach to recipe writing feels like having a supportive best friend alongside as your cooking
Clementine works on collaborative projects with a vast array of different creatives. This includes recipe development and contribution, dining projects, food styling, private lunches and dinners, and creative food publications.