Yellow Kiwis and 2024 Retreats

Here we are, right into spring, magnolia tree in full swing and the fruit trees just about to explode. It’s kiwi season here in France, which means vitamin C galore and pavlova. Very irresistible. And well deserved, given the drains are done and the bulk of the garden overgrowth trimmed. We also gave up our pied à terre, our sweet little flat in Zurich, which meant another move and another furniture bomb but at least we’ve got everything here now and can start putting it in the right places. Some of it will go to our old Jonvelle home as we’re planning to decorate and furnish it and rent it out to longer term tenants come next summer (give a shout if you’re interested!). Some of it will be sold at the vide grenier in July and some of it will be hoarded for the time being, given I’m pretty sure it will serve.

I also updated the homepage and really really really hope you like its new design and set up! There’s quite a few novelties and I’ll talk more of those in the months to come, for once I’m relaunching the Soirées, kind of mini mini versions of the mini-retreats, private dinner with cooking sessions, very French, very chic and with really good wines. You need to be at least two and come to me with a date proposal and your cooking dreams and we’ll sure make it a blast!

More blast also with the 2024 retreats, here’s the dates, see the full description by clicking on it:

And now back to yellow kiwis and pavlova!

What you’ll need

  • 3-4 egg whites, don’t take this mornings eggs as meringue works best with older eggs, old meaning maybe last week’s eggs, in any case it does not mean stinky old biohazard eggs
  • 60g sugar per egg
  • 1 teaspoon of maize starch
  • 2dl of thick fat rich cream, fresh and cold from the fridge
  • Another teaspoon of sugar
  • A packet of cream stiffener
  • 4 shapely juicy yellow kiwi

How to make it

Mix all ingredients and beat them firmly Marie Antoinette style (aka to a very firm mass, the texture suited to build up dapper crazy Roccoco hair towers on your head). Lay out your baking tray with parchment paper and throw 2/3 of the mass on the tray, mess around so to get a thick round disc with a bump in the middle (that’s for later filling it with whipped cream). Do the same to the rest of the mass, build it a little thinner and no dump to form the top.

Dry in the oven at 50°-75°C for roughly an hour. Now drying meringue largely depends on your oven and the atmospheric conditions in your kitchen. Living next to a river in a rather damp area, my meringue usually takes forever to dry and I get the best results when using my old gas oven. A very nice pavlova is going to be chewy on the inside, not all dried out, so you may have to do regular touch tests on yours. It’s perfect when the outside is firm and stiff, while yielding slightly if you’re increasing pressure.

Let cool. Beat the cream with the cream stiffener to a firm mass and fill the bottom of the pavlova with it, add the top. Peel the kiwis, cut into thin rounds, and decorate your pavlova with it.

How to eat it

Given the light is so different in my new home I now do most of my shootings during the late afternoon hours. Consequentially, we had this particular pavlova for dinner, which, to be honest, works very nice, just like that. Also we’ve recently fallen prey to after-5-o’clock-coffee-anxiety, suffering terribly from the fear of not being able to sleep from a coffee drank at 17.01, such dread indeed that even the mere smell of coffee at 17.01 invariably causes us sleepless nights, therefore we opted for a glass of wine to go along it. A very particular wine. The vin de groseilles, red currant wine, wonderfully fresh and with a hearty rejuvenating acidity to balance the sweetness.

4 thoughts on “Yellow Kiwis and 2024 Retreats

  1. Selina, what exactly is cream stiffener? I think you mean what we’d call cream of tartar, but I’m not sure. Amazing that things are already fruiting. Here we are enjoying early Spring- witch hazel, daffodils, and crocuses – and soon a trip to Wicked Tulips, to stand in a field of over one million bulbs. It’s incredible!


    1. Lisa, good to see you looking in! Cream stiffener, that’s some white powder that makes the cream staying firm and easy to shape! I think it’s also called cream stabiliser? Anyhow lovely trip ahead, it must be amazing to stand in the midst of so many tulips 😍


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