FOOD: Rolled pavlova.

The Saturday Paper - - Contents - An­drew Mc­Connell

I thought this was a bit of a folly at first. Pavlova is Aus­tralian roy­alty, sit­ting there per­fectly crisp, crowned with fruit. Why would you in­ter­fere? Why would you flat­ten and roll it?

I pre­sume this recipe came from a time when dessert logs were in vogue, pos­si­bly the 1960s. This ver­sion, I’ve ap­pro­pri­ated from Karen Mar­tini.

The thing I like about it – or what at­tracted me – was that when I tried one re­cently at a friend’s house, the ra­tio of meringue to cream, and the as­so­ci­ated tex­ture, was more pleas­ing than the con­ven­tional ver­sion. The pos­i­tive out­come of rolling a pavlova with its fill­ing is about the change in tex­ture. The crust breaks down and be­comes lovely and chewy.

It’s all too easy to for­get how de­li­cious pavlova is. Of­ten a dessert this old would be thought of as retro, but pavlova doesn’t have that rep­u­ta­tion be­cause it has been a con­stant. It’s a dessert from the 1920s that still has rel­e­vance. It tran­scends all trends and fads be­cause it is su­per de­li­cious.

This is a dessert I have to eat ev­ery six to 12 months, or the with­drawal be­comes too in­tense. For me, it’s a dessert up there with tiramisu.

When mak­ing a pavlova, I like to add yo­ghurt to my cream to lighten it. The acid makes the whole thing a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing.

Be­cause this recipe doesn’t need to stand up, it doesn’t re­quire corn­flour. In a con­ven­tional pavlova, I would add a lit­tle for in­sur­ance, to guar­an­tee a pert fin­ish.

The top­ping is also im­por­tant. I’m a tra­di­tion­al­ist, which is to say that as long as it has pas­sion­fruit on it

I don’t mind what else is there.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Earl Carter

AN­DREW Mc­CONNELL is the ex­ec­u­tive chef and coowner of Cut­ler & Co and Cu­mu­lus Inc. He is The Sat­ur­day Pa­per’s food ed­i­tor.

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