I first heard of the pavlova dessert when it was featured on the Great American Baking Show in a showstopper challenge. I thought they were so beautiful and looked incredibly yummy and of course, I wanted to try to make them. I settled on trying a “classic” pavlova (meringue, whipped cream and fresh fruit) to try and get the hang of it first. It’s actually a rather easy-to-follow recipe…it just requires patience and attention to the little details.
6 eggs whites, ROOM TEMPERATURE
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups COLD heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
Fresh fruit like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.
PREHEAT oven to 225° F with the rack in the center of the oven.
LINE a large baking sheet with parchment paper (you may need two sheets). HINT: if you use two sheets, make sure you avoid the top rack and bake the pavlovas in the bottom 1/3 of the oven.
BEAT 6 room temperate egg whites on high speed for 1 minute until soft peaks form. With mixer on low, gradually add 1 1/2 cups of white sugar and beat for 10 minutes on high speed, or until stiff peaks form. The mix will be smooth and glossy.
FOLD in (using over/under motion) 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract, then add 2 tablespoons of corn starch and hand mix until well blended. HINT: pre-measure these three ingredients while the mix is beating for 10 minutes as you want to quickly make these additions without letting the mix sit for too long.
PIPE meringue onto parchment paper (I used aWilton 1M open star tip). Using a spoon, indent the center to allow room for the cream.
BAKE at 225° F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Leave the meringue in the hot oven for another 30 minutes. The outside will be dry, crisp and very pale while the inside is like a marshmallow.
TRANSFER the pavlova (leaving it on the parchment paper is best) to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
BEAT cold heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer with 2 tablespoons of sugar for about 2 1/2 minutes.
PIPE the frosting onto the pavlovas and top with fresh fruit.
I found that it’s best to leave them in the fridge as if left out at room temp, the whipped cream will start to fall through the meringue. It’s still delicious, but not quite as pretty to look at.
These babies are sugar bombs. The whipped cream is necessary to curb some of the sweetness of the pavlova. But they are a unique texture that is sure to win some fans at your next gathering!