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Mixed Berry Pavlova

January 1, 2012

I’ve always wanted to make a Pavlova.  While I’m not the biggest fan of meringues,

pavlova

Pavolva’s are a large merinuge that bakes at a really low temperature and turns crisp on the outside and nice and gooey marshmallowy in the center.  This seems like a celebratory New Year dessert (although I made it way back at Mother’s Day), and it’s both over the top and not as indulgent as it looks.  Pile on some fresh mixed berries and a raspberry sauce, and you’ve got a light dessert, perfect for a luncheon, or after a rich meal with champagne preferably.  I skipped the whipped cream because it didn’t seem necessary.  I am definitely making this again for a special celebration.  This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen and serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the meringue

4 large egg whites

Pinch of salt

1 c granulated sugar (superfine if you have it)

1 t white vinegar

1/2 T cornstarch

For the raspberry sauce

1 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed

3 T sugar

For the mixed berry topping

1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 pint fresh blueberries

1/2 pint fresh raspberries

Directions:

For the meringue: Preheat oven to 250°F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.

Pour the vanilla and vinegar into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.

In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.) Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)  Don’t wait too long to take the pavlova off of the parchment, or trim the parchment down.  Mine cracked (although it still looked great).

For the raspberry sauce: Puree the raspberries in a food processor, blender or immersion blender. Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a spoon, removing the seeds (you have to really work at this to get the sauce out).  Heat the puree in a small pot with three tablespoons of sugar, until it is heated through and the sugar is dissolved.  Cool the sauce.

Mix the berries with 1/2 cup of the raspberry sauce and set aside.

To assemble the Pavlova:  When the meringue disk is cooled, put it on a plate.  Add the mixed berries and sauce mixture, spooning them carefully into the middle of the pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    January 4, 2012 12:17 am

    It was spectacular and it certainly did not need whipped cream!

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