sBritons waste £1.17 billion worth of fruit, vegetables and bread each year, according to research by Sainsbury’s, which equates to each household throwing out nearly three things a week. But even ripe fruit that is no longer good to eat raw is delicious if boiled and sat on a glorious pavlova.
Pavlova with quince, chocolate and hazelnut
Ripe fruit that is no longer palatable raw can be blanched and served simply with cereal, porridge, yogurt, or as a dessert with cream. They can also be recycled into this zero-waste pavlova made with aquafaba instead of egg whites. A meringue is a sweet treat made by turning something commonly missed, aquafaba, into a dessert to die for—especially when topped with poached seasonal fruit and melted chocolate. This recipe is adapted from one in my Eating for Fun, People, and Planet cookbook.
To prepare the meringue
170 ml aquafaba
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
225 grams of caster sugar
For quince boiled with honey
250 ml of honeyor other sweetener (such as sugar, maple syrup, or date syrup)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cinnamon stick (my choice)
2 teaspoons of vanilla (my choice)
500 grams of quinceor other ripe seasonal fruit
100 grams of high quality dark chocolate
250 ml double cream
100 grams of hazelnuttoasted
Place the aquafaba in a ceramic bowl and beat on high speed for five minutes, until stiff peaks form. Beat the cream of tartar, if using, and caster sugar, third at a time, until mixture forms stiff peaks.
Spread the meringue into a disc about 20cm wide on a large baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, then bake in a 130°C (fan 110°C)/260°F/gas oven for three hours. Turn off the oven, leave the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool for at least another 2 hours.
Meanwhile, put 800ml of water in a large bowl with the honey (or other sweetener) and the lemon peel and juice, and add half the cinnamon stick and the vanilla extract, if using. Heart the quince, then cut it into wedges, dropping them into the skillet as you go (the skin of the quince is fine to eat). Leave the pot to simmer for about two hours (alternatively, to save energy, cook in a slow cooker for four to five hours). Remove the quince pieces and set aside to cool, then if necessary bring the remaining liquid to a boil, reduce to syrup and leave to cool.
Break the chocolate into small pieces, place in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just-boiling hot water, and stir until melted.
Place the meringue on a plate, top with whipped cream and quince pieces, drizzle over the chocolate sauce and finish with a scattering of toasted hazelnuts.