The primrose season is nearly upon us. Well actually in Devon it already is but the over enthusiastic early offerings are small and battered and not a patch on their March/April successors. I always maintain that I am first and foremost a gardener and anything that happens in the kitchen can be a bit hit or miss in all honesty. This recipe is dead easy to make however and if you, like me, have a fabulous farm shop just around the corner that makes their own meringue bases then it is even easier as you can bypass the making your meringue section completely and head straight to the fun bit. Primrose curd is lovely. It's subtle with a gentle floral note and the art is to make sure that there is not too much lemon in there so that the floral notes come through. If you have a rummage around in our blog you'll also find a recipe for primrose curd muffins which are sublime. (photo by lovely Neil White) Primrose and Passion Fruit Pavlova
Meringue Ingredients - Enough for one large meringue base – double up if you want to be indulgent and sandwich together two. 5 large egg whites (use the yolks in the primrose curd) 325 grms caster sugar 1 handful of fresh or 5 tablespoons of dried primrose flowers Filling Ingredients 1 large carton of double or whipping cream Primrose curd or primrose syrup recipe here. Passion fruit – at least 3 but be as greedy as you like - you will certainly need 5 if you are doubling u. Fresh primrose flowers to garnish*. Rustle up a meringue base by beating 5 egg whites until stiff in a squeaky clean bowl. Gradually add 325 grms of caster sugar a spoon full at a time. Then add 1/4 teaspoon of white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of cornflower (no idea why but that is what my mother always does and it works!) and give a final quick whisk. Gently fold in the dried or fresh primrose petals. This is not strictly necessary but adds some golden streaks of colour through the mix. Spread onto baking parchment and put in the oven at 120C (lower if a fan oven) or gas mark 1/2. Cook for 1 1/2 hours in the oven and then switch off the oven leaving the meringue base in the oven until it is completely cold (overnight is best). If you are going for individual pavlovas then divide into 6 or 8 portions dip Decoration should be done at the last minute to prevent your Pavlova going soft. Adorn with some generous dollops (yes that is a technical term) of freshly whipped cream. Pour over several spoonfuls of the primrose curd (recipe here) and then squeeze over contents of several passion fruit. The sharpness of the passion fruit cuts through the sweetness of the meringue so it is definitely a case of more is more if you don't have a particularly sweet tooth. *You can buy wild primrose flowers from us here. I should add that we have a licence to sustainably forage for wild primroses but those that we sell are actually gather from our organic land. If you are going to gather your own primrose flowers be careful not to trample plants, don't take all of the available flowers and don't gather from roadsides or places where dogs are walked for obvious reasons. Enjoy.