Friday, March 13, 2015

Strawberry Pavlovas

Pavlova has always been my favorite dessert. With meringue, whipped cream and fresh fruit, who can complain?

Recipe adapted from here

1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature (from about 4 eggs) 
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 1/4 cups heavy cream 
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed 
about 1 lb strawberries or your favorite seasonal fruit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a clean, dry bowl until foamy.
Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and continue whipping until stiff, smooth and glossy, about 8 minutes more.

Line a sheet pan with parchment. Spoon the egg whites into mounds (you can do one large one, or several minis), using the back of the spoon to smooth the top and sides of the disks.
Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top and the surface is lightly browned to the color of cafe au lait, about 45 minutes more.

Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open, 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.

Whip the cream and brown sugar together until stiff.
You can either top the pavlovas with whipped cream, or if you're like me and you like them messy - break off the top, spoon in some cream and fruit, then put the top back on and add an extra layer of cream and fruit.

Arrange the slices of strawberries around the edge. 

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