It’s kind of a fancy dessert that, at least in my opinion, is less fancy than it sounds. As I understand it, it’s called a Pavlova because it was the favorite dessert of ballerina Anna Pavlova. And I know, almost all of you are saying “who”? And if you’re like me, possibly “what’s a ballerina”?
Anyway, it’s a light dessert made from a base of meringue. Meringue is made mostly of egg whites, and since I recently made a different dessert that called for 6 egg yolks, I had whites from 6 eggs in my freezer (egg white freeze really well, by the way), so I thought this would be a good time to make this. Plus, I had some frozen berries in the freezer as well, so basically this is my latest clean-your-freezer dessert.
I’m like the Marie Kondo of dessert, except this one actually does spark joy.
· 6 egg whites, brought to room temperature
· 1 ½ cups + 3 T sugar, separated
· 2 t corn starch
· 1 T + 1 t vanilla, separated
· ½ T lemon juice
· 1 ½ cups whipping cream
· 5 cups berries (I used strawberries and raspberries because that’s what I had, but you can use whatever you like)
DirectionsFirst, prepare a baking sheet. Take a sheet of parchment paper and mark off a circle, 10 inches across. Turn over the sheet so that you can see the circle through it and place it on the baking sheet.
Put the egg whites and 1 ½ cups of the sugar into a bowl and beat on high with your hand mixer until the mixture is stiff and peaks form and hold. Basically, this is like making whipped cream and will take a decent while – at least 6 minutes, possibly more.
Next add in the corn starch, 1 Tablespoon vanilla and lemon juice and mix again, but just until everything is combined, maybe 10 seconds or so.
Take the batter you’ve just made and put it inside the circle you drew on the parchment paper. Push it out to the ends of the circle, and make sure there’s a deep well in the middle and the sides go up. Think of it as our version of one of those bread bowls you can get chili or clam chowder in. This is similar in that once this is done, we’re going to fill it.
This will rise, so make sure the indent is as pronounced as you can get it. I didn’t do the best job (see below) but it works.
Bake the sheet for an hour and a half (90 minutes) at 250. Yes, that’s not a typo. We’re not “baking” it so much as drying it out, and that takes time and just a little heat.
After the hour and a half, turn off the oven but leave the shell in there until it’s completely cool – overnight works perfectly, which is what I did.
Once it’s cool, take it out and you’re ready to fill it. It will last a few days before it starts to go stale, so you don’t have to make the filling right away.
When you’re ready, time to make the filling. Add the heavy cream, the remaining 3 T sugar and the remaining 1 t vanilla to a bowl and whip until it, too forms stiff peaks.
When you’re ready to serve, fill the Pavlova bowl with your whipped cream and top with your chosen berries.
That’s it! It looks and sounds fancy and maybe it is…but it’s much simpler than people think.