I had never heard of a Pavlova before I saw it being made a while ago on Ina Garten’s TV show. It looked neat but didn’t really appeal to what I “thought” I wanted in a dessert.
The time passed and I wanted to make a splash at a friends party with something light, berry, and cool. I remembered this one and thought it could be a really neat one if I did it right. Anything light and delicate seems to crumble under my hands, and that’s exactly what the meringue is in Pavlova.
The meringue is light and airy, with a little bit of a crunch to the outside with the inside similar to a tasty marshmallow. Topped with fresh whipped cream and berries, with a nice sauce to drizzle over the top. How in the world can you go wrong with that?
I took my time in finding the right recipe for this since meringue can get a little tricky. The first time I made it the recipe I used had the oven too high, so I decided to take it in the middle of what I thought was too low and too high. I wanted the chewy/marshmallowy texture in the center but a nice crisp to the outside. Just a whole lot of awesomeness.
I mixed my recipes to suit my needs. I followed the ingredients on one, and the method is mixed from 2 more recipes. It turned out quite well and it was a huge hit. I’ve never had people exclaim as much over dessert.
And we ate it.
ALL of it.
I found out from my coworker that her Uncle, whom was at the celebration, said that even though he had traveled extensively across Australia that mine tasted better than any he had eaten there.
Talk about kudos for me.
- 4 egg whites (room temp, important!)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 pints of berries, sliced (I used blackberries and strawberries)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups frozen berries (I used raspberry and blueberry)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (more or less depending on what berries you use.)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- For the meringue: Preheat the oven to 275F and place rack in the middle of the oven. Using a piece of parchment paper, draw a 9″ or so circle with a pencil (use a plate for a template) and flip over the parchment so the pencil is on the bottom.
- Mix together the lemon and vanilla in a bowl. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in another bowl.
- In a large bowl using a mixer, whip the eggs and salt starting on low. Slowly increase the speed to medium until soft peaks start and uniform bubbles start to form, 2-3 minutes.
- Raise the mixer speed to medium-high and very slowly start adding the sugar and cornstarch. Mix for 1-2 more minutes before slowly pouring in the vanilla and lemon mixture.
- Raise the speed to high and whip until glossy and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4-5 minutes. It will be marshmallow-ish in texture.
- Pour the meringue into the center of the circle on the parchment and spread evenly throughout the circle. Place the meringue in the oven and reduce the temperature to 250F and bake for 50-60 minutes. If it starts to brown or crack, reduce temperature to 225F and rotate the pan.
- When done, very gently slide the meringue and parchment onto a wire rack to cool.
- To make the whipped cream: In a large bowl combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form and set aside.
- To make the sauce: In a sauce pan on medium heat combine the lemon juice, sugar, berries and water. Cook until the berries thaw and the mixture begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat and letting stand for 5-10 minutes. Blend the mixture and strain out the seeds, set aside.
- When everything is made and cooled, transfer the meringue very gently to a serving platter, top with whipped cream and berries on top. Drizzle some of the sauce over the top, leaving some for serving.