The Pavlova is essentially an Italian Meringue (a shattering crisp shell with a creamy center) that you plop on loads of fresh whipped cream and fruit. It looks even better when you embrace the natural cloud-like form rather than shaping it into a "cake" as traditional pavlovas are often seen. It's also a perfect light summer dessert, quick to assemble and it's the best vehicle for fresh whipped cream.
Italian Meringue adapted from Mimi Thorisson
Recipe serves 5-6, I needed 4 and adjusted the original as seen below.
5 large egg whites, at room temperature ( I left the eggs in shell out in the AM )
1 tsp cornflour
A pinch of fine salt
approx 270 grams of caster sugar
* optional 1 tbls vanilla bean extract
1. Pre-heat oven to 285ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper NOT tin foil*
2. In glass or stainless steel bowl, whisk eggs with handheld electric whisk- tilt bowl until almost horizontal.
3. While whisking GRADUALLY add cornflour and sugar, approx 2 tbls at a time. This helps balloon the egg whites and form stiff peaks. Should take approx 10-15 min. You may add your vanilla bean extract here, if you like.
4. With large spoons, plop on the meringue onto the parchment paper and form a nice cloud. I made mine about 4.5"ø and 3" tall. You can use a fork or spoon to help form them if you're an overachiever. I am not.
5. Place into oven and bake for approx 1 hr.
6. Leave in oven to cool for 15 min w/door ajar and set aside once cooled.
7. Be prepared that it may fall a bit and crack- no need for disappointment, it really does add to the charm.
While meringue is in oven start on the stone fruit.
Stone Fruit + Fresh Whipped Cream Topping
Original recipe by Grace.
2 white peaches, sliced
1 plum, sliced
1 tbls sugar
1-2 dashes of rosewater (taste as you go)
1. Place all together in bowl and sit.
Right before serving:
Fresh Whipped Cream:
1/2 c of heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbls of vanilla bean paste
3 heaping tbls of creme fraiche
1. In cold bowl (stick in freezer for approx 10 min prior)., place all ingredients and whip with electric hand whisk until desired consistency. Approx 5-8 min.
1. Place cooled meringue onto serve dish or keep it on the parchment-lined tray...embrace laziness and know that will make one good overhead Instagram pic.
2. Plop on a good helping of the whipped cream and top with stone fruit and syrup.
3. Add fresh torn spearmint and serve.