Mixed Berry Pavlova

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.

Why?

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.

All you need is egg whites, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla essence, malt vinegar, cream, berries and, if you’re feeling frisky, Grand Marnier.

First, beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Then, beat in 1/2 c. sugar and continue to beat for 1 minute or until stiff and glossy. Once the eggs are ready, fold in the remaining sugar, cornstarch, vanilla essence and vinegar.

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.

Pretty berries.

Once the meringue is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. If it cracked, don’t worry. Once you fill it with cream and berries you’ll hardly notice. Plus, it’ll be delicious anyway.

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.

And that’s it! Cut yourself a slice and enjoy. You deserve it. You had a long day.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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
  • Enjoy

Fiona

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One response to “Mixed Berry Pavlova

  1. Gorgeous! Love your pics.
    I have always been nervous about making meringues because of that ‘eggy; smell…and I have a tendency to ‘over-beat’ but yours looks like a definite success!

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