Brigid Gallagher shares a delicious dessert to serve over the Christmas holidays. You can never go wrong with a fresh fruit Pavlova..
In 2015, my pavlova style changed forever after witnessing Welsh actor Michael Sheen’s winning triple layer pavlova on “Great British Comic Relief Bake Off. ” Michael used passion fruit and lemon curd for his filling – a beautiful combination.
I am using an alternative filling of fresh raspberries and blueberries, to create a celebration Pavlova which will make a wonderful Christmas or birthday dessert.
Preheat oven to 150 C/ 140 for fan assisted oven.
Prepare 3 sheets of baking parchment, and draw 3 circles around tea plates of different sizes. Place parchment on baking trays.
- 6 large eggs,
- 12 ounces of castor sugar,
- Dessert spoon of cornflour,
- Dessert spoon of white wine vinegar,
- 1/2 pint of whipping or double cream (I use non dairy)
- Fruit of your choice for filling and embellishment.
- Separate egg whites and add to a clean bowl – any fatty residues will prevent the whites from whipping. (I keep my remaining yolks and usually make Creme Brulee on the same day.)
- Whisk whites with an electric whisk until they make stiff peaks. You can turn the bowl upside down, and if the egg remains in the bowl you have the perfect consistency!
- Add the castor sugar slowly while still whisking,
- Add cornflour and vinegar while still whisking.
- Scoop out meringue mixture and place on the three circles of baking parchment. Spread around to the edge of each circle. Create a nest like dent in each meringue.
- Put the trays of meringue into the preheated oven.
- Allow approximately one hour to cook. They should have a nice crisp shell and a pale exterior:
I switch the oven off and leave the meringues inside to cool – this prevents cracking of the outer shell.
Finally, layer your meringues with whipped cream and fruit, decorating as you please…
I gave the tops a little bash in the centre with a spoon, to create more of a nest for my cream and fruit. I could of course have created a well in the centre before it entered the oven, but I forgot!
How dull life would be without a little cake…
©Brigid Gallagher 2015
About Watching the Daisies
Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.
In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:
- The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
- Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
- Entering a new life of SLOW
Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…
Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”
In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.
The most recent review for the book
This delightful memoir has a number of threads running through it, all of which the author skilfully weaves together into an appealing whole.
Music is one of the threads, right from Brigid’s youth when she danced to Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops in the living room, to attending concerts of performers like Thin Lizzy, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox and Tina Turner, to later trips to see Tom Jones and Clannad. One day in her youth she even spent her lunchtime work break stalking Cliff Richard as he did some shopping!
Unfortunately, another major thread is ill health. From childhood dental abscesses, laryngitis and joint pains, to insomnia, depression and pleurisy later in life, afflictions crop up regularly. Eventually Brigid is diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Not surprisingly therefore, Brigid develops a keen interest in healing, and over the years shows a breath-taking enthusiasm and determination to study, practice and even commercialize her skills, as she explains herself: “colour healing, crystal and electro-crystal healing, reflexology, aromatherapy, nutritional medicine, counselling skills, spiritual healing, radionics, space clearing and the ancient art of Feng shui. I reckon I had attained the equivalent of a master’s degree in natural medicines!”
She establishes the Scottish School of Holistic Healing, followed closely by Healthworks, a healing centre and shop in the middle of the Scottish town of Stirling.
The final thread is travel, which for the most time she undertakes solo. In many of these places, such as Malta, Morocco, Bali, India and Lourdes, Brigid seeks out and learns from local healing practices, which she then implements back home.
Watching the Daisies is well-written, informative, entertaining in parts, harrowing in others. At the end of each chapter Brigid gives a quick summary of insights learned, and at the end of the book she gives her top ten tips for self-healing. In other words, the book is extremely practical.
Finally, we find Brigid beginning to cut back on some of her many activities to take life a little slower (hence the title). However, as she was told once by a numerologist that “the best years of your life will come later, probably in your sixties,” I suspect that Brigid won’t be letting the daisies grow too long!
Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0
and more reviews at Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD
About Brigid P. Gallagher
Brigid P. Gallagher aspired to becoming a doctor but God had other plans!
Instead, she spent thirteen years in the life assurance industry, including Actuarial and Life Underwriting departments, before following her heart and training as a Natural Medicines therapist.
Brigid trained in colour and crystal healing, aromatherapy, reflexology, nutritional medicine, flower essences, electro – crystal healing, radionics and E.F.T. or Emotional Freedom Technique.
She practised and taught Natural Medicines for 20 years, teaching at Stirling University’s Open Studies and Summer Schools from 1993 to 1999, setting up the Scottish School of Holistic Healing plus a therapy centre and shop in Stirling, Scotland.
In 1999, she relocated to Donegal, Ireland the home of her ancestors. Four years later, she succumbed to a mystery illness which was eventually diagnosed as fibromyalgia and possible rheumatoid arthritis.
Stopping the World for 2 years, forced Brigid to reassess her life, and thus she began retraining in Organic Horticulture. She taught this subject in schools part time until early 2016.
Her garden was featured in the Donegal Garden Trail in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Brigid continues her lifelong passion for gardening, singing and writing in her new life of SLOW.
Connect to Brigid
I love Pavlova but always timid about tackling meringue… however with this step by step guide I am emboldened… watch this space. Thanks to Brigid and I hope you will enjoy making and sharing the results too.