Stone fruits and berries are at their best this month, and desserts that showcase these glorious summer fruits look gorgeous on the festive table. Chiswick head chef Tom Haynes embraces the best of the season with these colourful and delicious individual pavlovas. There’s a lovely contrast between the lemon cream, the poached peaches and the fresh fruit. Start this recipe the day before you need it, as the milk needs time to infuse.


 

Serves 6 


Pavlova Rounds
 

6 egg whites    
200g caster sugar
½ tsp white vinegar
2 tsp corn flour
 

Lemon Cream Filling 

120 ml full cream milk
½ bunch lemon verbena, washed
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp corn flour
3 egg yolks    
300 ml thickened cream
 

Poached Peaches 

12 ripe peaches
2 tsp honey    
250 ml water
100g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
 

To Serve

Raspberries/blueberries
Peaches 

 

Pre-heat your oven to 105°C. 
In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on high speed until they are frothy, then add 1 third of the sugar into the whites and continue whisking. Repeat this until all sugar has been added and dissolved. Turn the whisk speed to low and add the vinegar, followed by the corn flour. On a baking tray lined with baking paper, dollop the mix into 6 mounds and place into the oven to cook for 2 hours. 

To make the cream, start by Infusing the milk. Place the lemon verbena and lemon zest into the milk and let this infuse overnight in the fridge. 

Mix half the sugar, the corn flour and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. Strain the infused milk into a medium sized saucepan, add remaining sugar and bring gently to a simmer over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Slowly add the milk to the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking continuously.  Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and gently cook over low-medium heat for 3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Allow this lemon custard mixture to cool in the fridge. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream through the custard. 

For the peaches, firstly cut them in half and remove the stone. Bring the honey, water, sugar and lemon juice to a simmer, and add the peaches. Cook gently for 6-8 minutes so that the peaches are soft, but not mushy. Allow them to cool in the liquid. When cold slice each peach half into 5-6 slices.  

To serve, crack each pavlova base and fill with lemon cream, fresh raspberries and blueberries, a spoonful of poached peaches and slices of new season peaches.