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Pavlovas were created for, and in honor of, a Russian ballerina. It is crispy on the outside but light and fluffy inside. Leftover decorated pavlova can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert will absorb moisture from the air and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can safely be left overnight in the oven in which it was baked, and decorated when ready to serve. Use the egg yolks to make pastry cream.

Pavlova
Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature (about 4 large eggs)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh blueberries
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Sift the granulated sugar and cornstarch, set aside. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, begin beating the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a clean, dry bowl until foamy.

2. Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and continue whipping until the beaters leave ridges in the whites, and the meringue hold a stiff, smooth and glossy peak when the beaters are lifted out, about 8 minutes.

3. On a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a sheet pan, use a pencil to trace a 9-inch circle. Line the sheet pan with the parchment, pencil side down. Spoon the egg whites into the circle, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top and sides of the disk.

4. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top and the surface is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.

5.Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, and let the pavlova cool in the oven at least 30 minutes, to room temperature. This ensures a gradual cooling, which protects the delicate meringue.

6. To assemble, spoon it in the center of the cooled pavlova and spread out to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Arrange the slices of strawberry around the edge. Arrange the blueberries and raspberries in the middle. To serve, slice into wedges with a serrated knife. Place on the plate and spoon some of the raspberry sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 Tablespoon raspberry liqueur

Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and raspberry liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a nonreactive measuring cup or small glass bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

Whip the cream, brown sugar, and vanilla until stiff.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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