Monday, September 9, 2013

Pavlova with Fresh Fruit

I am pretty much going to let the pictures do the talking on this recipe because in all of its simplicity this dessert is just beautiful and speaks volumes for itself. The shell of the meringue is crisp and sweet while the interior is like a fluffy marshmallow. Topped with slightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh tart berries, every bite of this dessert melts away in your mouth.  The best way I can describe Pavlova is like eating a perfectly sweet summer cloud.

Pavlova with Fresh Fruit
Inspired by Laura in the Kitchen

5 large egg whites
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt 

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Fresh Fruit

Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

In an extremely clean bowl of a stand mixer (any grease, bits of yolk, or residue will not allow your egg whites to whip properly) add the egg whites and whisk on medium speed until medium peaks begin to form. 

Continuing on medium speed, spoon the sugar into the egg whites one spoonful at a time until completely incorporated. The mixture should be thick, glossy and will hold a fairly stiff peak.  Rub a tiny bit of the egg whites between your fingers to make sure the mixture is not gritty and all of the sugar has dissolved.  Continue to beat, if necessary, until mixture is smooth.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the salt, cornstarch, vanilla, and vinegar. 

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the egg white mixture into one big pile in the center of the parchment paper.  Carefully spread evenly into about an 8" circle.  The meringue should about about 1 to 1 1/2" tall and should be fairly smooth and level.  The meringue will not really change shape while baking, although it may puff up some and then fall and crack around the outside when it cools. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes and then shut off the oven.  Crack the oven door and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.  You can make this the night before you are serving and just let the meringue sit in the cool oven overnight.   Note that you can make this recipe with a hand mixer as well, but I would not recommend trying to whisk the whole recipe by hand unless you have arms of steel.

Immediately before serving, transfer the meringue to a cake stand or plate.  Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and add sugar and vanilla.  Spoon the whipped cream over the meringue and top with fresh berries of your choosing.  Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries was a great combo, but I have also done strawberries, kiwi, and blackberries. I am sure any fruit you like would be excellent as well. I hope you give this delicious recipe a try.


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