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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Wedding Pavlova - Made in Advance?

    I'd like to make the Wedding Pavlova for an anniversary supper, but won't have time in the afternoon that day. Would the meringue hold up for 9-10 hours in the fridge if I top it with whipped cream and passionfruit that morning? I think I'd have to leave off the peaches for sure. Any advice? Thanks!

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Wedding Pavlova appears in Feast (p431). Unfortunately once a pavlova meringue has been covered in cream it will start to soften fairly quickly, partly as it will absorb moisture from the cream and passionfruit and partly as it will need to be kept in the fridge from that point onwards and as the fridge tends to be a slightly moist enviroment this will also soften the meringue.

    You can certainly make the meringue a day in advance. Store it in an airtight container once it has cooled fully, though if it is a very humid day the meringue may still soften a little. For the cream and fruit the best option is to prepare these as much as possible in advance and keep them, covered, in the fridge until you need them. For the peaches we would suggest skinning the peaches and rubbing the outsides with a little extra lime juice, then wrap each one tightly in clingfilm (plastic wrap). Slice and spritz again with lime just before serving to prevent them from going brown. Strain the passionfruit juice into a container and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Whip the double cream until it just holds its shape, but no more as it will continue to thicken as it stands. Cover and refrigerate until needed and you can always give it one or two extra turns with the whisk before spreading it over the meringue. However please note that some whipping creams (such as US heavy cream) do not hold well once whipped so will need whipping just before using.

    When you are ready to serve the pavlova all you will need to do is spread over the cream, add the sauce and slice the peaches and arrange on the top.

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