Pavlova with Summer Berries
With summer berries now in full swing, here’s a spectacular dessert that really shows them off! This classic cream-filled meringue (famous in Australia and New Zealand as a tribute to the great ballerina Anna Pavlova) is way easier than it looks.
1 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large Pete & Gerry’s Organic eggs, whites separated, room temperature
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups mixed berries or and/or cut-up fruit
You can find superfine sugar in gourmet stores or higher-end supermarkets, but it’s easy to make your own: Just whirl granulated sugar in a food processor or blender for 1 minute until finely ground.
You can even make the Pavlova a day or two ahead; just keep it in an airtight container. Like all meringues, it works best if you make it on a dry day. You’ll only use the egg whites, but you’ll have 3 golden yolks left over to make your next batch of scrambled eggs extra rich!
Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle. Trace an 8-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper and place on a baking sheet.
Whisk the superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites and salt until they hold soft peaks. Add the water to “loosen” the whites, then resume beating until whites again hold soft peaks.
Increase speed to medium-high and gradually beat in the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the lemon juice or vinegar and continue beating at high speed until the meringue holds glossy, stiff peaks, 5-10 minutes.
Pile the meringue onto the parchment and use a spoon to gently spread it into the circle you’ve marked, with swirled sides and a slightly concave center (you’ll fill that with whipped cream and fruit). Bake until the meringue is pale golden with a crisp crust and marshmallowy center, about 45 minutes. Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let cool in oven 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Whip cream with the sugar and vanilla until it just holds stiff peaks. Chill until ready to use.
When meringue is completely cool, carefully peel off the parchment and place onto a serving plate. Just before serving, fill the center with the cream and top with the berries and fruit. To serve, slice with a serrated knife into wedges.