Sunday, December 25, 2011

Scones just aren't festive enough

I'm sure everyone's heard by now about the latest events in Christchurch - not what anyone needed just before Christmas - or ever again really. My new home, being on the less-affected western side of town, was completely unscathed, and I have spent my time since Friday's quakes feeling oddly guilty at being entirely unaffected by an event which has meant disaster for so many in the same city.

As you know, it's somehow become my tradition to make a batch of scones just after a quake. I did consider throwing together a batch so as not to disappoint your expectations, but really, I had a pavlova (p204) to make, which was going to tie up my oven all evening.

Pavlova is one of those recipes people tend to be a bit afraid of. I've never had a problem producing an edible pav, but I've always used the same recipe - which isn't the Edmonds one. So I was keen to see how I would do with a different recipe.

A pavlova is just a giant meringue, really, so it's much the same process. You begin by beating egg whites until stiff, then (this is the first time I've come across this bit) add 3 tablespoons of water, and beat again, before slowly adding caster sugar to make a nice glossy meringue mixture.

Finally, you stir through vinegar, (oddly, the recipe doesn't state what kind, but I used malt because that's what my usual recipe has) vanilla and cornflour. Then all that's left to do is spoon it all out onto a tray lined with baking paper, marked with a circle about the size you want your pav.

And that's pretty much it. Bung it in the oven at 150 for 45 minutes, then when the timer goes off, turn off the oven and leave the pav in there until the oven has cooled down, like overnight if possible. And don't get curious and open the door - just leave it.

Mine held a pretty good shape while it was still baking, but collapsed a bit as the oven cooled down. I'm sure that some people would say that a successful pav is supposed to stay up and not collapse. But I say, rubbish - - it tastes the same whether it's collapsed or not.

There was considerable further collapsing as I eased the pavlova off the baking paper and onto a cake plate, then Gladwrapped it for the trip to Timaru.

My pav was in fact a fairly sorry sight by the time I got it to Timmers, but the great thing about pav is that you pile stuff on top of it, covering up all the broken bits. Kiwifruit is the traditional topping for pav, but in recent years I've subscribed to the 'pile it up with lots of berries' method. Berries may be astonishingly expensive in Christmas week, but they look and taste fantastic.

Since Mum already had the desserts for Christmas Day under control, we had my pavlova on Christmas Eve. And it was exactly what I expect from a pav: crunchy on the outside, with a soft, sweet marshmellowy centre. Top that with cream and berries and you've got a winner.

I've just had the last of the pav as a decadent Christmas Day breakfast. And Mum's sorted the rest of our meals for the day, so that's me for Edmonds stuff this Christmas. Hope you are all having a happy, safe and earthquake-free day. Merry Christmas!


  1. Collapsed or not it tasted great, rates up there with the best I've tasted, yum!c

  2. Actually that comment was not from Robyn but her mm.

  3. glad to hear the Edmonds Pav didn't disappoint. My attempt at pav was a complete flop. No pav for us this year. I miss being able to buy perfectly good pavs at the supermarket. haha

    Merry Christmas!!

  4. Bryn! You should know a supermarket pav is not "perfectly good" but a sad crunchless mass-produced marshmellow thing. Nice enough, but no comparison to a homemade one with a nice crisp shell!

    And what's my "mm" doing logged on as me?


Popular posts this week