An Excuse to Eat: Foraged Berry-filled Summer Pavlova

“Love is a basket full of nuts and berries. I know, because I gathered them from the forest myself.
”  Jarod Kintz

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Summer desserts are classically light, fluffy and many feature fresh fruits of the season, often berries. Berries are so full of goodness, they taste so yummy  and they look rather attractive. They are the healthy candies of the season…

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Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit, being very rich in antioxidants like anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) and more to boost the immune system and prevent infections. Strawberries are particularly rich in vitamin C, that important antioxidant that the body requires. Strawberry nutrition facts suggest that 149% of vitamin C is found in the fruit.The health benefits of strawberries can provide an overall improvement to your health, strawberries being one of the more important fruits to include in our diets. Raspberries contain ellagic acid, which is an effective antioxidant that helps to prevent damage to the cells through eliminating free radicals. Cell damage usually results in degenerative diseases. Raspberries enhance eye health with their antioxidant properties fighting macular degeneration especially in elderly people. So why wouldn’t one eat a dessert full of them?

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Method
To make the perfect meringue: whisk 4 egg whites on full speed, add 240 g sugar spoon by spoon. Mix 1.5 tsp Vinegar and 1.5 tsp Cornflour then fold it into the mixture. For an interesting twist, add 50 g ground, roasted hazelnuts to the mixture. Create a circle, approximately 25 cm in diameter, on a lined tray, and spoon the meringue mixture onto it. Alternatively, it can create 6 smaller pavlovas. Preaheat the oven to 140 degrees C, bring down to 130 and bake (or technically dry) the pavlova for 60-75 minutes. After an hour turn off the oven and cool in the oven for two-three hours.
To decorate add a couple of spoonfuls of fresh berry jam, whip some cream and layer on top of the jam, finally pack with a selection of berries on it and dust with a hint of icing sugar or grated dark chocolate.

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“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”  Wendell Berry

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