The idea of this blog is to share ideas for using hand-made pots to serve good food.

Eating with friends and family is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I hope to show how the warmth and character of hand made ceramics can really enhance the pleasure of cooking, serving and eating food.

This blog will include pots from other potters as well as my own and recipes for the food which I enjoy, hoping that you will like it too.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Posh Pavlova

Last week Carole and Jonty Williams came to dinner.  They are from the Husbandry School near Ashburton in Devon, where they grow vegetables and edible flowers and run various courses on growing fruit and veg sustainably.  I visited them a few weeks ago on one of the rare sunny days this summer and their place felt like a little bit of sustainable paradise.  They have beautiful pigs, goats and chickens as well as the flowers and veg.  The views of the Devon countryside from their place are stunning and they have a house which they built themselves at the heart of their land.

I was delighted to be given a bunch of flowers and a salad pack containing lots of edible flowers - of the kind which they usually supply to top chefs.  I used some of the flowers - marigold petals in yellow and orange, borage flowers and violas to decorate the pavlova I had made for dessert.

The flowers completely transformed the dish into something spectacular - aided by placing it on a large serving dish I had made.  The dish is formed with a slab top and thrown ring for the base, so it stands proudly on its pedestal, giving it that much more importance.

The pavlova recipe was from Nigel Slater's book, Appetite, which I find brilliant as a guide and inspiration for all kinds of dishes.  He gives you some basic recipes and then suggests variations to encourage you to try your own versions.   I used a combination of strawberries and passion fruit on the top, which had the right amount of acidity to complement the sweetness of the meringue and the richness of the cream.

The great thing about a pavlova for a dessert is that it is very simple to make the night before and then all you have to do is whip the cream and chop the fruit.  I assembled it just before serving.

This is a quick photo of the pot without pavlova.  It would also be good for serving lots of other dishes, such as a selection of cold meats with salad garnish or cheese and biscuits.

I'm definitely going to start growing some edible flowers of my own.  Looking forward to colourful salads and beautifully garnished dishes.

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