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How long will a home-made pavlova keep?

(18 Posts)

I am starting to think about Christmas dinner, and I may need to make a second dessert - my BIL may well be coming to stay this year (my MIL is terminally ill, and we are fairly sure she won't be with us by Christmas, and he has no-one else, so I want to make it as good a day as it can be, for him and for dh).

I have bought a Christmas pudding, but it is only a small one, as we usually don't have any room left for pudding - but I am worrying that this will be insufficient for 6 of us, and I will look undercatered and mean.

One option would be to make a pavlova - I know BIL likes them - but I don't want to spend Christmas Eve making it (and worrying about it), because I will also be doing all the veg, making the stuffing, gravy and sauces, and the brandy butter, as well as boiling and glazing a gammon joint for Boxing day - and the thought of adding a pavlova into all that stress is Just Too Much.

So if I make it on the 23rd, will it keep in the fridge until Christmas Day/Boxing day?

Ooops - I should have said I wouldn't be putting any toppings on until just before serving it, so it is just the actual meringue that I am talking about.

AMumInScotland Wed 19-Nov-14 10:50:36

The meringue could be made in advance and kept somewhere dry like a tin. I don't think you could put the fruit and cream on it in advance though, as it would soak into the meringue and all go soft surely?

AMumInScotland Wed 19-Nov-14 10:51:22

I think they last ages as long as you keep them dry. Not the fridge because of condensation.

VoyagesOfAStarship Wed 19-Nov-14 10:56:31

Meringue can be tricky. I've had the experience of making one and keeping it in the fridge, and it kind of "sweated" little droplets of liquid sugar. (still tasted nice, but looked weird!)

Now I probably did something wrong, but it's a thing that can go wrong and can also be a faff to make. So if I were you I would just buy a ready-made one - big pavlova base or mini meringue nests - as this is a faff you could do without at Christmas. Then you can just keep it in the box until you need it. IME ready-made ones are nice and not over-processed - they only contain eggs and sugar, not lots of nasties - and keep well. Once it's piled with cream and fruit no one would be able to tell.

SockDrawer Wed 19-Nov-14 11:00:21

I read some research on the different states of eggs and suger (I know I know, don't judge me hmm ). Anyway... they proved that it doesn't matter where you keep a meringue as long as it's within an air tight container. So it is possible to keep it in a warm, room temp or chilled environment and the meringue will stay in exactly the same state as long as it's kept airtight so no moisture can get in.

So, if you fancy keeping it in the fridge then go for it. Just make sure it's stored properly smile. Personally come the 23rd Dec there won't be any room in my fridge!

SockDrawer Wed 19-Nov-14 11:02:35

Oh, Voyages, there's a really simple ratio to avoid leaky meringue. Hold on a sec and I'll fish it out for you...

sleepyhead Wed 19-Nov-14 11:03:21

Don't keep the meringue in the fridge.

Once it's made let it cool down completely and store in a tin/plastic container. It'll keep for ages like that - certainly a week no problem.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 19-Nov-14 11:06:01

It depends whether it's a real pavlova with a soft inner to the base in which case I would only do it the night before as they can go soft (also they cook best left in the oven overnight as it cools)
if it's entirely solid then it would keep in a tin for weeks probably.

SockDrawer Wed 19-Nov-14 11:14:23

Ok, I'm back. I just wanted to check I had this right before posting advice!

For the very most stable meringue with no weeping you need to use a ratio of 1:2. Weigh your egg whites and use twice as much sugar. I also add a dash of cornflour to make it extra dry and firm. This method is so stable that you can use the all in one method to whisk it up rather than the traditional whisk the egg whites then slowly add the sugar. You'll just need to put your whisk on a very slow setting at first then build up the speed after a while.

SockDrawer Wed 19-Nov-14 11:16:23

Side note - If anyone wants to make a lovely soft melt in the mouth middle meringue btw the ratio is 1:1, but this won't keep. I usually use the ratio 1:1&half for a happy meet in the middle kind of meringue smile.

VoyagesOfAStarship Wed 19-Nov-14 11:21:02

Thanks sock! This may have to wait until I've retired though! grin

(I tend to just buy them now as no time)

Yackity Wed 19-Nov-14 11:21:30

Home made pavlova without the cream will easily last from 23rd to 25th. A merengue even longer because it's not soft inside. Don't keep it in the fridge though. Cream and decorate it on the day if you can, even the night before leaves the pavlova slightly soggy, cream not as nice and fruit just awful.

agoodbook Wed 19-Nov-14 11:25:49

Just another point - (Though I make all my own meringues/pavlovas-) you can buy them fresh ! Our local deli often has a large glass container full, so you could maybe find someone who does, and then you don't need to think about it until nearer the time smile

I make my meringue with some cornflour, and a dash of vinegar, so it has that marshmallow texture inside - might that change the keeping qualities, do you think?

I usually make a raspberry pavlova, and I use raspberry vinegar, and it is gorgeous!!

Doughnut123 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:28:04

Meringue keeps for ages, kept in an airtight box/tin, layered with grease proof paper. I always use Delia Smiths pavlova recipe and it's foolproof. Once it's cooked, you leave it in the oven overnight to dry out. If you put the cream and fruit on just before serving, it will be fine and delicious!

Doughnut123 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:31:11

I just noticed that you use vinegar and corn flour in your recipe. You don't need to at all. Delia's recipe is just 3 large eggs and 6 oz of caster sugar.
The meringue is light and crisp and slightly marshmallowy inside.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 19-Nov-14 17:00:03

Delia does not make it right imo.

It's a New Zealand dish and the thick soft layer is an integral part.

We add cornflour, white wine vinegar and vanilla essence.

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