I love desserts that are not super sweet and rich. My husband grew up in England and this dessert was a regular menu item especially on a Sunday Roast lunch. Pavlova is a very light, scrumptious dessert appropriate for any occasion big or small. It’s meringue shell that is light and air with a crispy outside and soft gooey middle topped with fresh whipped cream and berries. It is hard to stop at just one piece! This is best eaten fresh but leftovers can keep in the fridge for about a day before going soggy.
Making a meringue can feel a bit intimidating but don’t let it stop you from making this beautiful dessert. The important thing with a meringue is make sure you whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This means if you dab it with a spoon and lift up a peak will form and not fall flat.
Making a meringue can feel intimidating but don't let that scare you away! The key is whipping the egg white until they create stiff peaks. You can test this my dipping a spoon in the egg whites, when you pull the spoon away a little peak should be sticking up. If it does not then you have not whipped it long enough.
On a piece of parchment paper, trace a plate so you have a template to use for your meringue. Spoon the mixture onto the pan into the center of the circle, push it out toward the edge of the circle creating a slightly raised edge around the outside. You want to create a "bowl" in the center to place your cream and berries in once it is baked. It should look like the picture below.
4 Egg whites
1 Cup white sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 Teaspoons of cornstarch
1 Pint of heavy whipping cream
1/4 Teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 Cups of fresh berries
- Preheat oven to 280˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace a dinner plate on paper to give you a circle on paper.
- In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add in 3/4 cup of sugar one spoonful at a time, continuing to mix. Continue to beat until glossy and stiff. Fold in gently vanilla, white wine vinegar and cornstarch.
- Spoon the mixture inside the circle filling all the way around. Work from the center pushing out to create a slight lip around the outside edge. The middle should be slightly lower.
- Bake for 50min and shut the oven off. Leave in the oven for an addition 20-30 minutes until it has cooled off. This is an important step so don’t skip it!
- In a mixing bowl whip heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla or 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract until cream is light and fluffy and stiff peaks form. Store in Fridge until ready for use.
- When ready to serve gently move meringue shell to a platter place the whipped cream on top and sprinkle with fresh berries.
- Garnish with fresh chopped mint.
This is best when served freshly assembled so the meringue shell will stay fresh. Leftovers can be store in the fridge for a day before the shell goes soggy.