01 August 2008

Mixed Berry Pavlova

Happy Birthday to my Muzzy! This pavlova is in her honor. I thought of her often when I was making it, because I was watching all the bunnies in my yard hop around (and that always makes me think of my mom, we have a shared love for bunnies).

This dessert is one of my favorites You can do the components over a series of days, making it much easier to pull off than you would think (best to do sauce one day, meringue the next, and whipped cream right before serving). I love the crispy meringue's outer shell, with a nice soft, almost gooey center. Then the light whipped cream and amazing berry sauce (and berries) on top, mmm. Must have dessert, and great for those hot August days.

Mixed Berry Pavlova
(from Ina Garten)

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Sweetened whipped cream (recipe follows)
1 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
Triple raspberry sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 250 F.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw an 8-inch circle on the paper, using a plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won't get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Put blackberries and raspberries in a bowl and toss with about 1/2 cup of the mixed berry sauce, or enough to coat the berries lightly. Spoon the berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra mixed berry sauce.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 c. cold heavy cream
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don't overbeat!

Mixed Berry Sauce:
1 half-pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 Tbsp. framboise liqueur

Place the strawberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked strawberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.


Meryl said...

I keep seeing these wonderful looking pavlovas everywhere. I had it on my list of things to make this summer, but it seems that time (and berry season) is slipping by too fast!

Sarah said...

I have never had a pavlova. I think with how hot my kitchen is this summer I will have to wait until fall to try this one out.

Nemmie said...

Whatup Meryl! We are no longer close neighbors :( We still need to tag-team a daring bakers challenge...

Sarah: you MUST make this in the summer! Low low heat to make the meringue, very little maintenance, and soooo refreshing when it's sticky and soupy and grossly hot (thanks to the cool whipped cream, sauce, and berries).

Heather said...

oh my gosh. this looks so decadent and delicious and summery. I could eat it all by myself :)

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