Make the meringue in advance and this is one easy dessert. Kumquats, star anise and figs make a delicious fruity topping.


For the meringue

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 300g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 1 level tsbp cornflour
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar

For the topping

  • 500g (1lb) kumquats, washed
  • 4 star anise
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 284-300ml carton double cream
  • 4-6 figs, washed
  • Baking sheet lined with silicone liner or baking parchment


  1. Set the oven to gas mark 1 or 140°C.
  2. To make the meringue, tip the egg whites into a large bowl and whisk them until stiff. Continue whisking and add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Whisk until mixture is thick. Quickly whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
  3. 3, Spoon the mixture on to the lined baking sheet and spread it out to a circle about 20-25cm (8-10in) in diameter, hollowing it slightly in the centre.
  4. Bake the meringue in the centre of the oven for about 1 hr, then turn off the oven. Keep the oven door closed, and leave the meringue inside to cool.
  5. Pour 150ml (¼ pint) water into a saucepan and add the kumquats and star anise. Place the pan over the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the kumquats for about 10 mins or until they are just tender. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until it’s dissolved, then simmer for a further 3-5 mins, or until the syrup has thickened slightly. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the kumquat mixture into a bowl and leave it to cool.
  6. Slide the meringue on to a serving plate. Pour the cream into a bowl and whisk it until it’s starting to form soft peaks. Drain the kumquats, keeping them in a little juice and then add the extra juice to the cream and re-whisk until the cream just holds its shape. Spoon the cream into the centre of the meringue and spread it out.
  7. Cut figs into wedges and add them to the kumquats. Stir gently to coat them in the syrup. Spoon fruit on top of the cream. Keep the Pavlova chilled until serving and serve within 4 hours of filling. It’s not suitable for freezing, but the meringue may be made up to a week in advance and then stored in an airtight container.

Feature: Sue McMahon. Photos: Props stylist: Sue Radcliffe

Nutritional information per portion

fat 19.0g calories 474(kcal)

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.