Yesterday’s weather was perfect- blissfully sunny, warm, and breezy. Even though I spent most of my day in the library, I celebrated the sunshine by taking out my floral maxi-skirt and making a summer pavlova made with brown sugar meringue. I love meringue, and I love freshly whipped cream. Call me a ‘whipped cream snob’, but I have a very strong preference for freshly made cream in comparison to the white goop you find in cans. Pavlova is a dessert that is both stunning and easy to make- all you have to do is pop the meringue in the oven, whip the cream, chop some fruit, and layer it all. For me, the hardest part is not eating all the cream (and the fruit, and the meringues…) while assembling the dessert!
I was originally planning on blogging a recipe for peanut soup today, but just couldn’t resist sharing this pavlova with the world.
Part 1: Brown-sugar meringue
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup egg whites at room temperature for 30 minutes (I used 4 large, organic, free-range eggs)
Preheat the oven to 135 degrees celsius.
Food process the sugars and cornstarch and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla and vinegar.
Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt on medium speed. Once they hold soft peaks, add the sugars and cornstarch gradually. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat for a few minutes.
Add the vinegar mixture, and beat on high speed until the meringue holds stiff peaks.
Spread the meringue onto greased baking tins and trays (I made them in a circular shape) and bake until they are crisp (but not burnt!). I suggest using baking paper/foil since it easily peels off the meringues, and is a good way of lifting the meringues off the trays. This takes around an hour, give or take.
Let the meringues cool in the oven. Remove the meringue from the baking paper/foil and set them aside on plates.
Part 2: Fruit
3-4 cups strawberries, chopped
1 cup blueberries
1 cup mango, chopped
Chop the fruit and set aside.
Part 3: Cream
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/3 cup crème fraiche, chilled
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy cream on medium speed. Add the crème fraiche and sugar. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat until it begins to firm up and hold its shape.
Part 4: Assembling
Lay one meringue on a plate, and spread 1/3 of the cream on. Add 1/3 of the fruit mixture. Repeat with the second and third layer. Serve cold, and refrigerate any leftovers. (But there won’t be any leftovers, right?)
*stay posted for the upcoming recipes on life is like a dumpling: peanut soup and coffee and walnut cake
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
Recipe adapted from The Galley Gourmet