I knew it as soon as my alarm went off for the eighth time and jarred me from my dreaming state twenty minutes before I was supposed to be at work. I was reminded of it when I got in the shower and discovered I was sharing it with a hairy, twitching beast of a spider. And when I looked at the clock at what I thought was the end of a long day and realized it was only 4 o’clock the afternoon, I was certain: it’s high time for something sweet here on fionalikesfood.
Because nothing cheers me up quite like a good dessert. Especially when it showcases two of my most favorite things in life: whipped cream and berries. Many girls keep a list of qualities they hope to someday find in a man. Things like honesty, a sense of humor, intelligence, and (in my case) the desire to cook dinner every night. Me? I keep a list of qualities I hope to find in my next dessert: flaky pastry, fresh fruit, whipped cream and custard. That’s my Top Four. All I need in life. I’m convinced.
So here it is: a recipe for mixed berry pavlova. It’s a nice, light dessert – perfect for the 100+ degree weather we’ve been enduring in San Diego this week.
Then, spoon about 1/3 of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. If yours has a lip, you may want to turn it upside down. It’ll make it much easier to move. Spread it into a 9 inch circle to make a base about 1/2 inch thick. And don’t worry if it’s not perfect. I’ll eat it anyway.
Here’s the fun part. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1 inch fluted nozzle with the remaining egg whites and pipe the mixture around the edge of the circle in decorative swirls to form a case to hold the filling. If you don’t have a piping set, I say just do the best you can with a spoon. It’ll give it a nice … rustic charm. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue in for 30 additional minutes.
Now just whip up some cream in a mixer, sweeten it with sugar, spoon it into the meringue shell and cover it with fresh fruit. I like to pour a little Grand Marnier over the fruit first for a little extra flavor and shine.
- 5 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
- 1 tsp. malt vinegar
- 1 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
- Fresh berries
- Grand Marnier
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks
- Beat in 1/2 c. sugar and continue to beat for 1 minute or until stiff and glossy
- Fold in remaining sugar, cornstarch, vanilla essence and vinegar
- Spoon 1/3 of mixture onto parchment in a 9 inch circle to make a base about 1/2 inch thick
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1 inch fluted nozzle with remaining egg white
- Pipe around edge of circle in decorative swirls to form a case to hold the filling
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 1 hour
- Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven for 30 additional minutes
- Remove and cool
- Whip cream and sweeten with 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Spoon cream into meringue and cover with fresh fruit