Food & Drink

Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples recipe

Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples (Jonathan Buckley/PA)
Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples (Jonathan Buckley/PA) Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples (Jonathan Buckley/PA)

“The nuttiness of this chestnut meringue with the tartness of the Bramleys is wonderful,” says gardener and cook Sarah Raven.

She calls it a “fantastic party pudding” – perfect for a Christmas centrepiece.

Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples

Ingredients:


(Serves 8)

For the meringue:


110g granulated sugar


110g caster sugar


4 egg whites


1tsp cornflour


1tsp vinegar

For the filling and topping:


300g cooked chestnuts, fresh or tinned


275ml double cream


Splash of brandy


Caster sugar, to taste


2 Bramley apples


25g unsalted butter


Icing sugar for sifting

Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples
Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples Chestnut pavlova with caramelised apples (Jonathan Buckley/PA) (Jonathan Buckley/Photograph Jonathan Buckley, Des)

Method:

1. Preheat a cool (160°C/gas mark 3) oven. To make the meringue, mix the two sugars together. Whisk the egg whites until they are really stiff and continue whisking while you add three-quarters of the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure that the mixture regains its former stiffness and finally, carefully fold in the remaining sugar with a metal spoon. Add the cornflour and vinegar. Sparsely oil two circles of greaseproof paper (or use silicon mats) and divide the mixture between the two, spreading it out as lightly as possible.

2. Cook in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the meringue is crisp and has turned coffee-coloured. Turn off the heat and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven before removing from the baking sheet.

3. To make the filling, first purée 200 grams of the chestnuts in a food processor. Then whip the cream with a tot of brandy and sugar to taste, and carefully fold into the chestnut purée to combine the two.

4. Peel and core the apples, and cut into thickish slices. Toss these in melted butter and a little sugar over a high heat until they begin to go brown, but remove them to a bowl before they become soft, and keep warm.

5. Add the remaining whole chestnuts to the pan in which you heated the apples and toss them until they are glazed with the sugar and butter mixture. Add to the apples.

6. Sandwich the two meringue layers together with the chestnut cream and a layer of caramelised apples and chestnuts, sift icing sugar over the top and serve with the rest of the apples and chestnuts.

Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook
Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (Bloomsbury/PA)

Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook by Sarah Raven is published by Bloomsbury, priced £35. Photography by Jonathan Buckley. Available now.