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i love a pavlova.

April 11, 2013

i am feeling festive!  it’s warm outside, the neighbors are firing up the grill & i am having a good hair day.  the buzzy weather makes me think about berries & berries make me think of a pavlova, a simple, springtime-y dessert, so that is what i will be taking to my friend’s house tonight.  making a pavlova is not difficult & is actually a great recipe to make with the littles – the egg whites transform into peaks & clouds & once you add the sugar & vanilla you basically have marshmallow which, when baked, turns into a perfect meringue – crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  so exciting!!  sometimes i add lemon curd into the whipped cream for a little pucker but this version is with a simple whipped cream.

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pavlova with sweet cream & berries (serves 6 – 8)
from ina garten
4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
pinch kosher salt
1 C sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

sweetened whipped cream, recipe follows

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh raspberries

preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.  draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (this way you won’t get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

place the egg whites & salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. with the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar & beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.

remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar & vanilla & fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. bake for 1 ½ hours. turn off the oven, keep the door closed & allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. it will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. combine the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a bowl and toss gently. spoon the berries carefully into the middle of the pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. serve immediately in large scoops.

sweetened whipped cream
2 C cold heavy cream
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). when it starts to thicken, add the sugar & vanilla & continue to beat until firm. don’t overbeat!

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