I first made a Pavlova a couple of years ago for my birthday. Its such a pretty, girly dessert, and its something fun and different for a birthday. Unfortunately, my birthday is in early May, and its not exactly berry season at that time.
This year, I really wanted a Pavlova on my birthday, but I convinced myself to wait until the berries would actually taste good. As I was thinking about what kind of dessert to post for the 4th of July, I realized that the berry Pavlova would give me the red, white, and blue color scheme I was looking for. Though its not your typical bbq fare, this dessert is both pretty and delicious, a wonderful addition to any celebration.
Mixed Berry Pavlova
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
4 large room temperature egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ pint fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 180*F.
Draw a 9 inch circle on a piece of parchment. Flip the parchment over and place on a large baking sheet.
Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until firm. Gradually add sugar while beating until the egg whites reach stiff, shiny peaks.
Fold the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla into the egg whites. Spread the meringue onto the parchment circle, building up the edges slightly. Bake for 1 ½ hours, then turn off the oven for another hour to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, blueberries, and raspberry sauce.
Transfer the meringue to a plate or cake stand and top with whipped cream. Pile the berries on top of the whipped cream, allowing some sauce to drizzle down the edges.
8 ounces heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes. Beat cream on high speed; as it starts to thicken, add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.
1 bag frozen raspberries (about 10 ounces), thawed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Whirl the raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch in the food processor until the berries are liquefied. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until you can scrape a path across the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.