Summer Entertaining: Mixed Fruit Pavlova
I fell in love with Pavlovas a few years ago after tasting one fresh out of the test kitchen at Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Normally I’m not a fruit dessert kinda gal. Chocolate is and always will be my “thing” but the Pavlova is special. Pavlova is a meringue based dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. It’s often served topped with a layer of fresh whipped cream and macerated fresh berries. It’s light and refreshing and honestly the perfect ending to any summer meal. The end result is such a beautiful presentation, you’ll want to make it over and over again. the best part is, the meringue part can be made a few days in advance, easy entertaining at it’s very best! Enjoy!
Mixed Fruit Pavlova
2 cups Fresh mixed berries and plums, stone removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons Granulated sugar
4 Egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 cup Granulated sugar
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon Corn starch
1 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl toss together berries, lemon juice, zest and sugar. Refrigerate, covered while you prepare the meringue.
2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and position rack in the center of the oven.
3. Using a pencil, draw a 7-inch circle on a piece of parchment paper. Set the parchment paper onto a baking sheet with the pencil marking side down.
4. Pour vinegar and vanilla into a small cup. Stir in corn starch.
5. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites, over low-medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, slowly adding in the sugar and corn starch mixture. Slowly add in the vanilla and vinegar. Increase speed and whisk until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5-6 minutes, total.
6. Spread the meringue mixture onto the prepared parchment making sure to spread it evenly, into a circular shape all the way to the edge of the pencil markings. Be sure to smooth out the top sio its flat but slightly indented in the middle to help hold the fruit later on.
7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. turn off the oven and crack open the oven door slightly. Allow the meringue to cool in the oven completely.
8. Place heavy cream into a clean bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and slowly add in sugar. Turn mixer up to high and whip until cream is firm but not too stiff, about 2-3 minutes, total.
9. Once the meringue is cooled completely, top with whipped cream and berries. Serve immediately.
Note: Meringue cake portion of this dessert can be made up to 3-4 days in advance if stored in an airtight container. Do not fully assemble the dessert (whipped cream and berries) until you are ready to serve it.