College Cooking: Pavlova

Photo Credit: Eliot Gentiluomo

Pavlova is a very interesting dessert. It has a crunchy meringue cooky outside with a marshmallow like inside, all topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. It is a favorite in my family and without a doubt there are never leftovers. It’s surprisingly easy to make and any mistakes can easily be covered up with extra whip cream.

Ingredients:

Pavlova:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Toppings:

  • 1-2 pints fresh berries
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Steps:

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Into a large bowl, put the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Whisk on medium speed until frothy.
  • Once frothy, start adding in the powdered sugar about ¼ cup at a time, incorporating it thoroughly in between.
  • Once all of the sugar has been added, whisk on high until stiff peaks have formed. The egg whites should stand up on end when the whisk is removed, and if you turn the bowl over nothing falls out. The mixture is bright white and shiny.
  • Using a rubber spatula carefully fold in the cornstarch and vanilla until it is fully incorporated. Make sure to not over work the merengue as to not pop all of the air bubbles that were just whisked in.
  • Carefully pour the mixture on to the middle of a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Using a rubber spatula, carefully form the merengue into a large disk about 8-10 inches in diameter.
  • Place into the 300 degree oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake for one hour.
  • When the timer goes off, turn off the heat. However, do not remove the pavlova from the oven. Do not open the door at all for the next two hours.
  • After two more hours, remove the pavlova from the oven and let cool completely. The outside should be lightly golden brown and have some cracks on top. It might deflate a little while in the oven or while cooling, but it should not be a pancake.
  • Carefully remove the pavlova from the parchment paper and place on to a large plate.
  • Into a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt to create whip cream.
  • Using a large spatula, plop on however much whip cream you like, and spread to cover the top of the pavlova.
  • Add on the fresh fruit.
  • Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

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