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Easter Pavlova

Slice of pavlova
 Have you ever heard of this?! It's amazing, and I don't know how I've missed it. I stumbled upon this Australian holiday dessert while reading a book about France (the author is an Aussie), and I couldn't wait to try it. So simple - meringue shell, covered with whipped cream, topped with fresh fruit. It's light and beautiful and delicious - perfect for spring, and berry season. We used strawberries and blueberries, and mangos. What a rich, delicious container for regional fruit!

I got the recipe from AllRecipes, and just tweaked it a little: 

PAVLOVA

3 egg whites
a pinch of salt
1 cup white sugar (I reduced this to 3/4 cup in keeping with proportions used for other meringue recipes; it was still plenty sweet)
1 tablespoon corstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice (we didn't have lemons so used a capful of rice vinegar - other recipes called for vinegar; it worked fine)
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced (or any fresh fruit)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment. An easy way to do this is to draw around the outside of a 9 inch pan with a pencil.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar gradually, while continuing to whip. Make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch; lightly fold into meringue with lemon juice.
  3. Spread a layer of meringue to fit circle on parchment, approximately 1/4 inch thick. With remainder of mixture, pipe or spoon swirls around the edges to form a shallow bowl shape.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 1 hour. Turn off oven, but leave meringue in oven for an additional 30 minutes. When cool, the meringue should be hard on the outside, and slightly moist on the inside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cream and half a cup of confectioners sugar, and whip until thickened. Decorate with fruit of your choice; strawberries are excellent.

 

[photo: A slice of Pavlova the day after; we were too anxious to try it to stop and photograph it in its entirety. Note the crusty meringue, and the berries resting on a cloud of whipped cream... I am smitten.]

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