Pomegranate is harvested on a significant scale in Western Australia in the towns of Geraldton and Albany as well as in the hills to the East of Perth.
Autumn is the time to visit a pomegranate orchard as it is this time of the year the pomegranates are bursting open. Their seeds are big and ruby red surrounded by a tart juicy red pulp.
The Pavlova is my favourite Australian or New Zealand dessert, there will always be a rivalry between these two countries. The legend in Australia says that this stunning dessert was invented in a Perth hotel. I do not know who is right or wrong all I know is that The Pavlova is imbedded in the Australian culture and it will never be removed from their national identity.
In my kitchen Pavlovas are made in any shape and size. I like to top them with cream or yoghurt and add fruits in season, nuts, and sauces. It always completes a special meal.
This sweet crispy orange blossom meringue is topped with cream, fig conserve and crunchy pistachios with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. All these ingredients make an irresistible combination.
Ingredients for the Pavlova
- 275 grams caster sugar
- 6 medium egg whites
- 2 tablespoon Fleur D’oranger essence (Orange blossom water)
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 6 tablespoons fig conserve
- 1 tablespoon of water (or white or red wine)
- 75 grams pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Ingredients for the Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
- 2 tablespoons of powder sugar
Method for the Cream
- Put the cream, orange blossom water and sugar in a bowl.
- With an electric mixer beat the cream until soft peaks begin to form.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Method for the Pavlova
- Preheat the oven to 120C.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Blend the orange blossom water in a bowl with a spoonful of caster sugar. This makes an orange blossom sugar which we will add at the end.
- Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form.
- Gradually whisk in the remainder of the caster sugar, one spoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. Whisk in the orange blossom sugar.
- Sift and fold in the cornflour and stir well.
- Spoon the meringue out onto the baking sheet and spread each spoon or spoons to a circle (any size you want).
- Bake for about 1 1/2 hours until the meringue feels crisp and dry.
- Put them aside and leave them to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, put the fig conserve with the water (or wines) in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring frequently for a few minutes until the fig conserve has dissolved. Set aside to cool until ready to use.
- To serve, transfer each meringue to a serving plate and spoon over with some cream (be generous) .
- Drizzle them with some of the fig conserve and sprinkle the pavlovas with pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
- You can also make a cake shaped Pavlova and top it with the same ingredients.
- Pomegranates are classified as a super fruit. They have a high level of antioxidants and nutritional content, this is the reason why they have become as popular as blueberries.