Winter Walnut Pavlova

Winter Walnut Pavlova-2

Winter Walnut Pavlova

Growing up, my mum’s pavlova was one of my favourite desserts. This ‘Winter’ version is based on a fig and walnut pavlova by Australian chef, Maggie Beer. It combines the light airy gorgeousness of a good pav with a satisfying crunch from the walnut. So good!

The only warning I have is that the granular stevia doesn’t dissolve in the same way as sugar so the end result has an extra crunch from the stevia crystals. Of my recipe testers, the ones that used sugar gave this rave reviews but the stevia tester wasn’t so impressed. If I didn’t have diabetes, I’d totally be making it with brown sugar!

The sour cream yoghurt is another of Maggie’s ideas. It’s brilliantly refreshing here and can be used anywhere you’d normally serve cream. Perfect when you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter.

enough for: 8-10
takes: 80 minutes

6 egg whites
pinch salt
150g (5oz) granular stevia*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
200g (7oz) whole walnuts
250mL (1 cup) sour cream
125mL (1/2 cup) greek yoghurt

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and grease and line a 24cm spring form pan.

2. Using a stand mixer, beat egg whites with salt until firm peaks form. Gradually rain in the granular stevia and add the vanilla (if using). Beat until the mixture is glossy. The stevia won’t dissolve in the same way as sugar would.

3. Gently fold nuts through the meringue mixture and spoon into prepared tin, smoothing the top.

4. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and the pav has started to shrink away from the sides of the tin. It will still feel soft but will harden a little as it cools. Cool in tin.

5. Stir yoghurt and sour cream until just mixed. Serve slices of pav with cream mixture passed separately.

Variations

*important note about stevia! – there are 4 types of stevia:
1. Pure Stevia Powder – looks like icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar. It’s expensive but a tiny amount goes a long long way. We’re talking 1/2 teaspoon to sweeten a whole cake. This is what I normally use – except for this recipe.
2. Granular Stevia (like Natvia or Truvia) – looks like regular white sugar. It’s a blend of erythritol and stevia. I’ve used it for the pavlova because the erythritol acts like sugar to help crisp up the egg white.
3. Fresh or Dried Stevia Leaves – from a real stevia plant! I haven’t baked with them but they will behave similar to the pure stevia powder. Just add to taste.
4. Liquid stevia. I haven’t used this. But add to taste.

no stevia / sugar-lovers – replace stevia with 250g (9oz) white or brown sugar. Don’t try pure stevia powder with this one.

fig & walnut – chop 250g (9oz) dried figs. Cover with boiling water and stand for 5 minutes. Drain and add with the walnuts. Sugar alert!

prune & almond – use prunes instead of the figs above.

pistachio & apricot – use dried apricots instead of the figs above.

different nuts – almonds, pistachio, pecans (with a little maple syrup), cashews.

different flavourings – vanilla extract, chocolate chunks, ground ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin spice.

pear & chocolate – serve walnut pav with slices of roast pears and some melted chocolate drizzled over.

summery – use almonds instead of the walnuts. Serve with summer berries and the yoghurt sour cream.

less chunky – chop your walnuts into quarters.

Shelf Life / Storage

This is best on the day it is made because you don’t have the sugar to bind up all the moisture. If you do have leftovers they will still be edible after a week or so in the fridge but the texture will soften over time.

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