Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and can get some time off from your busy life to get together with family and friends. In honor of the holiday, I would like to share my recipe for Red White and Blue Berry Pavlova. A pavlova is a meringue based dessert filled with sweetened whip cream and topped with berries or fruit. It dates back to the 1920s or 30s, and is usually associated with either Australia or New Zealand. It is named in honor of a Russian ballerina from around the turn of the century – Anna Pavlova.
Red White and Blue Berry Pavlova (makes 16 -18)
4 egg whites (room temperature)
3/4 cup + 1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb. fresh strawberries*
6 oz. fresh raspberries*
1 pint fresh blueberries*
fresh mint for garnish
* Buy some extra berries if you want to add some to the plates as garnish.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 220 degrees F. Mix cornstarch with 3/4 cup sugar and set aside. Place eggwhites in mixer with balloon whisk and
beat on high until foamy and approximately doubled in size.
Add lemon juice in 2 parts and continue to beat. Slowly add cornstarch sugar mixture to egg whites and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Drop by large spoonfuls (approximately 3 Tbsp. each) onto parchment lined pan. I like to use a scoop so that the meringues will all be the same size.
Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in water to smooth out the meringues and create a slight indent in the middle of each one.
Bake at 215 – 220 degrees F for approximately 1 1/4 hours. Do not overbake, but the meringues should be dry to to touch when finished.
Cool on a wire cooling rack in a cool part of the kitchen. Meringues can get sticky quickly if the kitchen is too hot. If you are making the meringues in advance, place in an airtight container with parchment paper separating the layers. Store in a cool spot of your kitchen, do not refrigerate.
Approximately 2-3 hours before serving: Place heavy cream in mixer and whip with a balloon whisk. Add 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Rinse and prepare berries, remove stems from strawberries and chop into quarters or smaller if they are large. Mix all berries in a bowl and refrigerate for later.
Top each meringue with 2 Tbsp. of the sweetened whip cream in the middle of each disc.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Just prior to serving (can be done before guests arrive), place approximately 2 Tbsp. of berry mixture on top of each meringue. Add extra fruit to plate if desired. Top each pavlova with a mint leaf for garnish. Refrigerate, uncovered, until serving. Do not let the pavlovas sit out in the heat, they will become sticky and hard to manage.
Nutrition Information per serving (1 pavlova): 140 calories; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 30 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 17 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams dietary fiber; 2 grams protein.