It's not a dessert I'd ever order from a menu but I just love to make and eat a summer fruit Pavlova.
A meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The above was my hangover cure the other morning. With its with a crisp crust and soft, light inner texture it also makes for a delicious treat.So here's the recipe I like to use;
- 4 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup of Castor sugar, also known as "Berry sugar"
- 1 tsp of white vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cups of whipping cream
- Fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, bananas, blueberries
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 275F (140C) and place the rack in middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with foil and draw a 7 inch circle on the foil with the blunt edge of a knife (don't tear the foil). Set aside.
- In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with a clean electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form soft peaks.
- Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, one teaspoon at a time. Don't just lump the sugar in the bowl and never stop beating the eggs until you finish the sugar. Your egg whites should now be glossy stiff peaks.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla and gently fold the mixture again.
- Now gently spread the meringue in the circle on the foil to make a circular base. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center so you have a very slight well in the middle.
- Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it goes a very pale, pinkish egg shell color.
- Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringue cool completely. As the meringue cools, it will crack slightly.
- Just before serving, take the meringue out of the oven and remove it gently from the foil and place on a plate.
- Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until it forms peaks. Prepare the fruit by washing and slicing.
- Gently spread the cream to the top of the meringue with a spatula and arrange the fruit on top.
Recipe via http://australianfood.about.com