Sunday, August 7, 2011


This is the second time I've made a Pavlova- a meringue dessert originating from either Australia or New Zealand (I think there's a long-standing feud over which country invented it).  It was named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.  It is light, crisp, airy and delicate.  I love it!  The outside is a crisp meringue crust, and the inside is a pillowy, soft, almost marshmallow-y consistency. 
My pavlova didn't turn out very pretty this time.... first of all, it browned too much, and then cracked everywhere (maybe because I opened the oven door too much?) and finally, it almost totally flattened after I pulled it out of the oven.  It was in the shape of a giant cow patty. :)  I think one problem I had was that I did not beat the egg whites enough.  The recipe stated a few times NOT to over-beat them, so I was scared, lol.  I should have beaten them until stiff peaks formed, like my meringues, but I stopped just before that.  Since this did brown so much, I turned off the oven after about 45 minutes (instead of the 60 the recipe states).  For the last 15 minutes, I just left it in the oven with the oven door cracked a tiny bit. 

Despite all of that, this was SO GOOD!!!  The whole fam loved it and it was gone in no time.  I want to make it again, and this time, top it with kiwi, since that is more traditonal, I think.  Next time, I will beat the egg whites enough!  ;) 

Just like making meringues, do not try to reduce the sugar in this recipe, or the Pavlova will not come out right.  It is very sweet, but to combat that, you can use unsweetened whipped cream to top it with.  I added just a few spoonfuls of vanilla sugar to mine. 
from Allrecipes

4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pint heavy cream (I only whipped about 2/3 cup)
6 kiwi, peeled and sliced, OR fresh strawberries, sliced

1.  Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment paper.  Sprinkle parchment paper with a very light layer or cornstarch, if desired.               

2.  In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy.   Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients.  Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites.  Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.             

3.  Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.               

4.  Bake for 1 hour (mine looked done at 45 minutes... I turned the oven off and left the Pavlova in the oven for the last 15 min).  Cool on a wire rack.         

5.  In a small bowl beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; set aside (can add sugar to taste). Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream. Top whipped cream with kiwifruit slices.               

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