Make a deluxe version of a simple dessert with this recipe for Pinotage and Plum Pavlova
1 cup Pinotage (can be substituted with Merlot or Shiraz)
third of a cup of sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 star anise
zest of one orange
juice of one orange
3-4 firm plums
pavlova meringue base
vanilla ice cream
Add the wine, sugar and all the spices to a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring so the sugar dissolves. Halve the plums and gently poach them in the spiced wine until they just start to soften. Keep an eye on them, they turn from soft to mush very quickly.
Remove plums and set aside. Boil the spiced wine until it is reduced to a third of a cup. Place the plums back in the sauce and set aside until you use it. This pavlova is a wonderful pudding for entertaining, because all the prep can be done a day or even two beforehand, with the assembly taking mere seconds just before you serve.
To assemble the pavlova, load the meringue base with vanilla ice cream balls. (TIP: Scoop your ice cream balls beforehand and place them on a lined baking sheet in the freezer until you use them. So much easier and firmer too, so it holds up better when you assemble the pavlova.)
Spoon the plums and Pinotage sauce over the ice cream and serve. The plums can be cold or room temperature. But my preference is heating them in the sauce ever so slightly – the contrast of the slightly warm plums melting into the ice cream on this pavlova is simply delightful.
You can also replace the ice cream with sweetened whipped cream or, as I have done here, a 50/50 mixture of sweetened whipped cream and full cream plain yoghurt. But to be honest, ice cream wins hands down for me. Enjoy!