Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova
Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

I have never been much of a baker. Following instructions and patience have never been my forte, so usually, when I attempt to bake; it ends badly, with fallen cakes or burnt cookies. But that is not to say I do not appreciate the end result – when it turns out well.

I love a Pavlova, or any whipped cream layered dish as it is usually simple and any mistakes can be hidden behind a good dollop of cream and a deft application of fresh fruit or other garnish.

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova
Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

Said to have been created in New Zealand and named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, it is a meringue-based dish, with a crisp crust and soft centre topped with whipped cream and fruit.

Typically, most pavlovas are adorned with a multitude of fresh berries, which pairs classically with the sweet cream and meringue, but this version veers from tradition and takes on a tropical tilt with pineapple and coconut. The coconut is grilled to soften the fruit and bring out its deeper, more caramel-like flavours.

This dessert is simple to make, and the base can be prepared a day ahead of time and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Be sure to assemble just before eating, as the whipped cream can make the meringue base soggy.

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

Meringue Base

Ingredients

4 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 275F

Using an 8-inch plate, trace a circle on a piece of parchment. Invert the parchment and place on a large baking sheet

Using a stand mixer, begin mixing the egg whites on medium-low until they begin to become frothy. Increase the speed to high and slowly begin incorporating the sugar. Once the sugar is fully incorporated and the eggs form stiff glossy peaks, turn the mixer to low and stir in the cornstarch and vanilla extract

Dollop the meringue mixture into the centre of the circle drawn on parchment and using a rubber spatula, create an even layer of meringue that extends to the edges of the circle

Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake 60-75 minutes or until firm on the outside. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the meringue to cool fully on the baking sheet

Pavlova Base
Pavlova Base

Grilled Pineapple Topping

Ingredients

1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 6 even discs

Method

Set a grill, or grill pan to medium heat and grill each side of the pineapple slices until char marks appear and they are slightly softened. Remove from the grill and allow to cool fully, then cut into bite-sized pieces

Grilled Pineapple

Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1 Cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of white sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

Whip cream in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova

To Assemble

Meringue base
Whipped cream
Grilled pineapple
¼ cup of dried coconut pieces
5 mint leaves, torn

Method

Place the meringue base on a cake stand or serving dish. Atop the base, spread the whipped cream. Place the pineapple evenly across the whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut and mint

Grilled Pineapple Pavlova