A little patience and some vigorous mixing, and this ~
becomes frothy like this ~
~ and finishes like this!
Pavlova is a meringue dessert named after Anna Pavlova, the ballerina who craved it while touring in Australia. It consists of a fluffy meringue base topped with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit.
I adore the crunchy exterior surrounding the creamy marshmallow center; my friend C loves it too, so when my girlfriends came for dinner I served it for dessert.
Pavlova is served with the whipped cream and fruit placed on top and sliced like a pie;
I kept the components separate so each of us could make our own proportions; if you want more or less whipped cream or fruit (I have no taste for the cream) you can add more or skip it. Presentation isn't quite as dramatic, but you still get the yummy sounds from your guests.
Even in California, berries in January come from South America. I only buy domestic fruits so I made a thick strawberry topping using frozen California strawberries (simmered on the stove with a bit of sugar and tablespoon of water until thickened).
Use whatever you have on hand, but juicy summer fruit is better suited than the pears and oranges that are in season now.
Meringue for Pavlova
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup baker's or granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbs raspberry vinegar, or red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake about 40 minutes more. The pavlova will crack and turn a light cafe au lait color. Turn off the oven and prop the door open; let the pavlova cool here at least 30 minutes.
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp sugar
strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, or any other fruit you choose
In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream and sugar with an electric mixer until lightly stiff. Spoon over the pavlova, and top with the fruit. Serve immediately.
The meringue will keep for several days plain; store leftover pavlova with cream in the fridge for a day or so.