My recipe for Pavlova with roasted nectarines is a showstopper of a dish for your dinner party table and ideal to serve as a chilled dessert during a South African summer.

The final in a series of recipes I developed for Darling Cellars, this dessert epitomises decadence – albeit in an almost sinfully simple way. Pavlova has that appeal; all of the presence, none of the elbow grease. I decided to top off my pavlova with seasonal stone fruit – namely, white fleshed nectarines – a summertime favourite. Roasted to sticky perfection with a sprinkle of sticky brown sugar and a splash of Darling Cellars’ MCC Blanc de Blanc Brut, the tartness of the fruit provides contrast to the sweetness the meringue base.


Prep time: 3 hours or overnight /Cook time: 20 mins /Serves: 4 to 6

You will need:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 500g white flesh nectarines
  • 1 tablespoon sticky brown sugar
  • 100ml MCC
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • Flaked almonds, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 150°C and trace a dinner plate-sized circle on a piece of baking paper.

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the caster sugar – adding 1 tablespoon at a time – until the meringue looks glossy.

Whisk in the white wine vinegar, cornflour and vanilla extract.

Spoon the meringue mixture inside the circle, making sure the edges are a little higher than the centre. Bake the meringue for 1 hour, then switch off the oven the leave to cool. This step can be done overnight.

For the topping, preheat the oven to 200°C. Halve and pit the nectarines and arrange the halves in a baking dish. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and pour in the MCC. Add the thyme sprigs if using and bake for 20 minutes or until the fruit is soft. You may want to grill the nectarines to caramelise them.

Leave the fruit to cool entirely. Once cooled, whip the cream to stiff peak stage and spoon liberally over the top of the pavlova. Carefully arrange the nectarine halves over the cream and spoon over any syrup left in the roasting dish. Using your fingers, crumble the flaked almonds over the top of the dessert.

Serve the pavlova immediately with a few glasses of chilled Darling Cellars’ MCC Blanc de Blanc Brut.


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