THIS time of the year, I look forward to our own fabulous strawberries.

There is only a short period of time when we can enjoy them at their best.

To complement them, I like to make a Pavlova or meringue nests.

All you need are just two ingredients for the basic meringue mixture.

When egg white and sugar are beaten together and then baked, they miraculously turn into crunchy delicate delights.

There is a controversy over the origins of the Pavlova.

New Zealand claims it was created in 1926 by Davis Gelatine Jelly.

I had always thought it was created in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Despite the confusion, I think we can all agree that a fruit Pavlova during the summer months is to die for.

I have given the recipe for the basic meringue mixture - you decide whether to make one large Pavlova or small nests.

Timings are the same.

Enjoy and Happy Baking,




3 egg whites.

125g (4½oz) or one cup of icing sugar.


1. Preheat the oven to 150C (300f / Gas Mark 2).

2. Put sheets of greaseproof paper onto two baking trays if making small meringues only, one if making one large one.

3. Separate the egg yolks from the white and place the whites in a clean grease free bowl.

4. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (an electric beater is easier).

5. Keep the beater going while you add the icing sugar a dessert spoon at a time.

6. Keep beating until the meringue mixture is thick and solid.

7. If you are making one large Pavlova, spread your meringue mixture into the centre of the paper and make a dip in the centre. (for small meringue Pavlovas, follow stage 8).

8. Using a cutter as a guide, draw around 2 inch circles onto the greaseproof paper on the baking trays, then turn the paper over so that the ink does not contaminate the meringues. Spread a little of the mixture over each circle - this will be the base. You can now either pipe the mixture around the base, building it higher, or just spoon the mixture around the edge of the base.

9. Now, for large or small Pavlovas, bake for around 45 minutes, or until pale and dry.

10. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven with the door slightly ajar. The meringues will cool down in the oven.

11. When cold, store in an airtight container.

12. Fill whipped cream and the desired fruit of your choice.