I had something else entirely lined up for the radmegan blog today. But when I pulled my FIRST Pavlova out of the oven yesterday afternoon, I couldn't wait to share the recipe with you. I was smitten.
I've made meringue cookies, and contributed in the making of meringue topping for pies, but before yesterday, I'd never made a pavlova. I've eaten pavlova in both Australia, and New Zealand- where it's said this dessert was first made to honor the ballerina Anna Pavlova. After flipping through cookbook, magazine and web pages, I came upon a recipe that seemed to have lots of Kiwi approval and set out to try it for myself.
And since we happened to have a bounty of citrus on our table right now, I wanted to incorporate it in this already light dessert. Here's the recipe I used:
3 egg whites
3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper and sprinkle a little water over paper.
In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in water, then mix in cornstarch, vanilla, vinegar and salt.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and leave Pavlova in the oven until cold. Top with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
I whipped up some Chantilly Cream (whipping cream, vanilla sugar, vanilla extract, and the zest of a home-grown tangerine) to top the mountainous pile of baked meringue.
After carefully transferring the pav from the baking sheet to the table, we hovered over the plate like buzzards and decided we couldn't wait to cut it open.
The outer crust was firm and hard. Inside, the meringue was light, soft and wet (like the meringue on a lemon pie). We scooped a bit of citrus cream up with each bite for that little burst of citrus.