I have no idea why it has taken me this long to try pavlova.
Meringue on its own kind of scares me...the chalkiness of the outside is yucky. BUT, pile on some whipped cream and fruit and *cue angels singing* you have heaven on a plate.
And, it's easy. It was one of the dishes that I told myself was going to be complicated to make so I just never tried it.
Clearly I need to start ignoring my inner giver-upper a little more.
If you have a stand mixer then this almost makes itself.
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
(plus a little extra for sprinkling on parchment paper)
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
fruit of your choice
(I used a mixture of approx 1 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup blackberries - and I did have some leftover. It made a tasty smoothie!)
Preheat oven to 300. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the paper and then flip paper over. Very lightly sprinkle paper with cornstarch.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites unil soft peaks form. Gradually start to add in the sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time. DO NOT dump all the sugar in at once. Beat well after each addition.
Beat until thick and glossy.
Gently fold in vanilla, vinegar, and cornstarch.
Oooooh...it's so shiny!
Just look how shiny it is...seriously!
Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture towards the outside edge, building edge slightly. You should have a slight depression in the center.
Place in oven and turn down temp to 275. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven, crack open door a little, and let cool in oven.
Gently remove from parchment paper when cool.
It's supposed to crack a little. Don't panic!
In a medium bowl, whip whipping cream with 1 Tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form.
You can either cut up fruit and serve as is OR, what I did: combine the fruit in a medium saucepan and heat until fruit breaks down - this only takes a few minutes - then mash with a potato masher. Cool completely and chill in fridge.
To assemble your pavlova: gently place your meringue on a serving plate. Fill center depression with whipping cream.
Mmmm...whipped cream :)
Top with fresh fruit or your chilled fruit compote.
Serve within about an hour or two of assembling as your meringue will get soggy. The meringue part of your pavlova can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container then all you have to do is whip the cream and add the fruit when you are ready to enjoy it.
Are you drooling yet?
Now, a couple of notes:
1. The original recipe said it made 1 - 9 inch circle. I got 4 - 4 inch circles. I thought I would only get 2 but...I got 4. Go figure!
2. Make sure there is NO grease in your bowl or on your beaters so your egg whites will reach maximum volume.
3. Make sure NO egg yolk gets into your whites. For the same reason you do not want grease in there.
This is so pretty, and tasty, and...I am note sure why it has taken me so long to make it. Now that I have made it though, rest assured I will be making it again.
If you haven't tried it yet, you really should.
Why are you still sitting there?