Is there anything more noble than reinventing the wheel aka the pavlova? Not much, is the answer you are looking for. As part of some work with the lovely people at Australian Eggs, I decided it was about time I combined the two loves of my culinary life - the pavlova and the kaffir lime.
For the pavlova:
¾ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon grated frozen kaffir lime
For the candied limes:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 cup coconut yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
To make the candied limes:
1. Place the sugar, water and kaffir lime leaves in a medium saucepan, and bring to the boil. Stir intermittently, and continue until the sugar has completely dissolved, and you have a viscous sugar syrup. Add the slices of lime, and set the timer for 12 minutes.
2. Once the timer is done, check that the limes have tender peel but have not disintegrated. Continue cooking for up to an additional 5 minutes, if you think it is necessary.
3. Shake the excess sugar syrup off the limes, and lay them on a drying rack or baking paper. Allow them to dry for a minimum of an hour, overnight if possible. You can also dry them in the fridge, if you need to speed the process up.
To make the pavlova
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Carefully separate your egg yolks and whites in clean vessels, and transfer your egg whites into a large, meticulously clean bowl.
3. Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly, tablespoon at a time, begin adding the sugar, and continue until it is all incorporated. No sugar granules should remain in the glossy meringue. Add the grated kaffir lime zest, and stir gently to incorporate.
4. Paint the meringue onto a piece of baking paper. I find it helps to lightly spray a baking tray before laying the baking paper down, to stop it from sliding around as you paint on the meringue. Create a shape of your choosing, and transfer the pavlova to the oven for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, turn your oven down to 100-120, and continue to cook for an hour to an hour and a half. Once it has finished cooking, turn the oven off, and leave it in the oven to cool completely. This is optional, but very helpful in ensuring the meringue doesn’t bleed sugar.
6. Mix together the coconut yoghurt and vanilla bean paste, and an optional teaspoon of the kaffir sugar syrup used to create the candied limes. Spoon this on top of the pavlova (you can use cream if you’re a purist) and arrange the candied limes (and some optional kaffir lime leaves if you’re feeling extra) and serve.