Pavlova dessert is a light and refreshing treat enjoyed year round as a delicate, delicious dessert to any meal.
Pavlova makes a great summer time dessert, but is also enjoyed year round as a light and refreshing dessert to any meal.
This dessert is similar to other meringues with a crisp shell filled with berries and cream.
The name of Pavlova is in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova from the early 1900's. As the story goes, the ballerina was performing in Australia where she enchanted the entire country. Consequently, a local chef designed a dessert in her name. The ballerina was "as light as a feather", making this delicate dessert a natural. Today, it is Australia's national dessert.
You bake Pavlova in a pie plate or on a cookie sheet. It is a little crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. This shell holds real whipped cream and fresh fruit of your choice. It does take some effort to make Pavlova, but the effort is certainly worth it.
Preparation begins about four hours before serving. Unfortunately, this is not a dessert that may be made a day ahead of time.
The meringue is classic in its preparation, with all the usual rules applying. The most important of the rules is to be sure that there are no egg yolks in the whites. Even a small amount of yolk will negatively affect the stiffness of the whites when whipped. To ensure that your egg whites are pure, separate the whites from the yolks one at a time in two small bowls or cups. When you successfully separate an egg without any specks of yolk in the white, place the white in the mixing bowl. Save the yolks for use in other recipes, if desired.
Follow all directions to the letter. Meringues do not take kindly to creative endeavors. To remove the meringue from the parchment paper, loosen it by running a large knife between the paper and the meringue. Then move the meringue to a platter with support from large metal spatulas or pancake turners. Keep the finished dessert under refrigeration until serving time.
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 300-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Draw 10-inch circle on the paper.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until whites have stiff, glossy peaks and the sugar dissolves. This should take about six minutes, depending on your mixer. Beat in the vanilla.
Spoon meringue onto circle on paper. Shape into 10-inch circle, building up sides with back of spoon to form a shell.
Place in preheated oven. Immediately reduce heat to 250-degrees; bake 50 to 60 minutes or until firm and dry to the touch. Inside of meringue will be soft. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Carefully lift meringue from paper. Loosen, if necessary, with large knife and use large metal spatulas to move it to a platter. Fill center with whipped cream.
Arrange fruit over cream. Refrigerate up to four hours before serving. Slice into wedges.
Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.
Tips for Pavlova Success
- Use an egg separator, available in kitchen gadget stores, as an easy way to separate the whites from the yolks
- Always separate eggs when cold from the refrigerator, but always whip egg whites after standing at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
- To protect your assembled Pavlova from food spoilage, always keep it cold until serving time.
- Make this fat free by using fat free Cool Whip.
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