Lime Infused Pavlova

Lime Infused Pavlova

Lime Infused Pavlova

Limes are something of an obsession for me.  I remember when I was a kid hearing the lyric 'trying to taste the difference between a lemon and a lime' before I had ever eaten a lime and wondering if they were really that similar.  The answer is of course no, they are distinctly lovely in their own way.  Limes have a way of bringing tropical exoticism into the kitchen, and when matched with mango – well, you are really in business then!  This pavlova does just that. 

You can use any topping you fancy, however I really do strongly recommend the combo of mango with this lime-infused pavlova base.  Raspberries also work really well with lime, as do macadamia nuts, mint, pineapple and banana.

6 egg whites at room temperature
1 ¼ cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
Pinch of salt
3 limes
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3 teaspoons cornflour
300mls cream

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C

In a large, dry, stainless steel bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.
Use an electric hand mixer to ensure the mix is entirely even and you can keep a good eye on the consistency.

Add the sugar a little at a time until the egg whites are stiff, then add the vanilla, zest of 2 limes, cornflour and vinegar and the juice of one lime.  Continue to whisk until the mixture is very thick and glossy and the sugar is entirely dissolved.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper.  Mark out the area for the pavlova with a dusting of cornflour.
Pile the meringue mix onto the baking sheet and smooth out, then use a palette knife to rib the sides of the pavlova to give it strength, definition and additional flavour.

Lime Infused Pavlova

Bake the pavlova at 175°C for just 5 minutes – enough to firm up the outside of the meringue – then drop the oven temperature down to 150°C.
Continue to bake the pavlova for another 45 minutes.
Once cooked through, with a little softness in the middle but with a light colour on the outside (I prefer a bit of colour on the meringue rather than a pallid white one), turn the oven off entirely and either prop open with a spoon or if you have a fan-forced oven allow it to force cool.
Do not remove the pavlova from the oven until it is completely cold.

Once cooled, whip the cream and spoon into the meringue crater.  Add the zest of the remaining lime, slivers of mango or top with your favourite fruit and serve!

Note: if topping with mango and lime, sprinkle a few teaspoons of Barenjager liqueur over the mango and the juice of a lime – it really brings out the natural mango flavour and adds a hint of honey.