A Wimbledon watching essential – low FODMAP pavlova with sweet strawberries, elderflower cream and fresh mint. Race you to the table!
I love Wimbledon. And I love pavlova. You? Both instantly transport me to sunny days, long, warm evenings and big groups of very happy people. It’s the familiarity, the simplicity, the deliciousness. With pavlova the flexibility too – you can top the pillowy piles of meringue with whatever takes your fancy, be it seasonal fruit or chocolate – and then there’s the cream. Rich, velvety and luscious, here I’ve flavoured it with elderflower cordial for a sweet, herbal finish.
Meringue is naturally low FODMAP and by switching the cream to lactose free a pavlova can be too. This recipe starts with making a white sugar meringue and you could bake individual portions or one big showpiece as I’ve done here. I think people can find meringue intimidating but if you follow the steps below you can’t really go wrong! Just keep the oven at a low temperature; you want to dry out the egg and sugar mixture rather than bake it as such.
On top of the meringue goes elderflower-spiked cream and on top of the cream; macerated strawberries, a fancy way of saying strawberries mixed together with elderflower cordial and lemon juice and left to sit for 20 minutes. This just helps them to break down a little and go all juicy and jammy – perfect pudding spooning material.
Last but not least comes a handful of fresh mint, to add a brightness and to help break through that sweetness. The leaves do look awfully pretty too. And there you have it! Easy as that. Now find yourself the nearest TV (preferably out in the sunshine) and enjoy!
For the meringue:
4 egg whites (roughly 125g)
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the topping:
100ml lactose free cream
200ml lactose free Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons icing sugar, to taste
6 tbsp elderflower cordial
Juice of half a lemon
Small bunch mint leaves to decorate
Preheat your oven to 140C/gas mark 1 and line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. If you like, you can place the sugar in the oven for a few minutes while the oven is heating up – the sugar being slightly warm helps it incorporate into the mixture better.
Put the egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk, using electric beaters, to stiff peaks. Start slow, creating small, stable bubbles before beating faster. Whisk in 8 tbsp of the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, making sure the mixture re-stiffens again after each addition, then pour in the remaining sugar in a steady stream while still whisking. Feel the mixture between your fingers – it’s ready when you can no longer feel any grains of sugar. Add the cornflour, vanilla and lemon juice and whisk briefly, just until incorporated.
Pile the meringue in a mound onto your prepared baking sheet and spread out into a circle. Make shallow dips with the back of a spoon in the centre of the meringue mixture and bake for about 1 hour, or until the shell is firm to the touch and can be gently peeled off the parchment. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Wash and dry the strawberries and cut into halves or quarters if necessary, depending on their size. Mix together the strawberries, two tablespoons of cordial and the lemon juice and macerate for 20 minutes. Whisk the cream and yogurt with the icing sugar in a large bowl until slightly thicker. Fold in the remaining 4 tablespoons of the elderflower cordial. Pile the elderflower cream into the middle of the pavlova and decorate with the strawberries, spooning over any extra juices. Decorate with a small handful of whole mint leaves.
Photographs by Emma Croman
I love seeing what you’ve created – so if you make this recipe (or any other from this site) please take a photograph and tag me @shecanteatwhat or with #shecanteatwhat and #fodmapfriendlykitchen on social!