This favorite dessert of Australia was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova by a chef who wanted to create something “as light and ethereal as the dancer herself.” He achieved his goal with this meringue crust topped with whipped cream and an assortment of fresh fruit. During stone-fruit season you can substitute sliced peaches or nectarines for the berries, just toss them in a little lemon juice with a teaspoon of sugar to prevent them from browning.–Karen Morgan
LC Flour Free, Gluten Free, Religion Free, Fancy Free Note
Pavlova knows no religious affiliations, creating a stunning flour-free dessert for Passover as well as a classic last course for Easter. The fact that it’s inherently gluten-free means all the more reason to be fancy free in terms of indulging, whatever your spiritual beliefs.
Pavlova with Fresh Berries Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H, 20 M
- Serves 8
- For the meringue
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the whipped cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 cups mixed fresh fruit, such as blueberries, blackberries, red currants, red or green gooseberries, strawberries, and/or raspberries
- Make the meringue
- 1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace a 12-inch round on the paper with a pencil.
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
- 3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they begin to froth and turn opaque. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the sugar mixture in 1/2-cup increments. Immediately add the vinegar, return to high speed, and beat for at least 2 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
- 4. Pour the boiling water into the egg whites all at once. The egg whites will swell up considerably. Beat the egg whites until the water is totally incorporated, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks.
- 5. Reach for a rubber spatula and carefully fill in the base of the traced circle with some of the meringue. Continue to add the meringue, fashioning swoops and swirls until you to have a thick layer that sort of resembles cake. Bake the meringue for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°F (93°C) and bake for 40 minutes more.
- 6. Remove the meringue from the oven, place the baking sheet on a wire rack, and let it cool completely. Once cool, gently remove the parchment paper by rolling it out from under the meringue. Take care, as the meringue will be very delicate. (The baked meringue can be loosely covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
- Make the whipped cream
- 7. In a large, deep bowl, beat the cream until it begins to hold its shape. Add the sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until soft peaks form.
- Assemble the Pavlova
- 8. Carefully spread the whipped cream in a thick layer over the top of the meringue, and top with the mixed fresh fruit. Serve at once, presenting it at the table and then cutting it into wedges.
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