Sunday, August 4, 2013

Berry Pavlova

The first time I saw a pavlova I thought it was so impressive and beautiful looking.  Although I was mesmerized by it's beauty, I was skeptical about how it might taste.  I love meringue but an entire cake made up of it sounded like a bit too much.  I came across the most stunning pavlova ever in "House Beautiful" magazine and had to give it a try.  My concerns about the taste were all for nothing! This dessert is so delicious with the right amount of sweetness and tanginess from the berry compote.  This work of art is a perfect treat for summer. 



6 egg whites
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Berry Compote:

1 1/2 cup blackberries
1 1/2 cup raspberries
2 cups strawberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons butter

Whipped Cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Draw three circles onto parchment paper.  Your circles can all be the same size or you make them in small, medium, and large sizes to create a pyramid shape like I did.  Put your circles on baking sheets.  I used two baking sheets, one sheet fit the small and medium circles and the other fit the large circle. Set aside.

2.  For the Meringue: Add all of the ingredients into your electric mixer and then whip them together at the highest speed for about 10 minutes or until the meringue begins to form very stiff peaks.  

3. Using a spatula, spread the meringue onto each of your drawn circles. I made my meringue circles about an inch thick.  Lower your oven to 200 degrees and stick your meringue circles into the oven.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.  After 1 1/2 hours turn your oven off and leave the meringues in the oven over night, never opening the oven. 

4. For Berry Compote: Melt the butter in a pan then add lemon juice and brown sugar. Stir until dissolved.  Add berries and cook for about 5 minutes, until the berries are soft. 

5. For Whipped Cream: Put all of the ingredients into your electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. 

6.  Place the large meringue circle on a serving platter and top with a portion of the berry compote.  Randomly drop clouds of whipped cream on top of the berries. Repeat with your medium and small sized meringue circles.  Top with a strawberry!

7.  Add a little bit of green to your pavlova. I suggest using mint leaves or rosemary. I went for rosemary because it conveniently grows in my front yard.

The pavlova was named after the Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova.  She was known to be the greatest ballerina of her time.  The dessert is said to be "light and airy" like her dancing.  

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