Today’s recipe is dear to my heart. You’ll all remember my post about how my husband told me that I’d better have a backup dessert handy in case my pavlova didn’t turn out as they were incredibly difficult to make? I just love this dessert. It’s like eating heavenly air and there is always room for pavlova.
Imagine my delight when Becki Robins from Travel By Stove wrote to share her recipe for pavlova. Honestly I can’t get enough of this. Her pavlova is topped with strawberries but a pavlova can be topped with any fruit you enjoy eating. It IS a dessert after all.
Becki is a mother of four and teaches her children geography by cooking two to four recipes a week from a different country or a different state. I thought the idea was so clever that I was eager to share her recipe and introduce you to her. Kids learn so much when they’re engaged and what better way to get their attention focused on a new country than by its food. Once you get the food, they’ll want to know more. Clever idea, don’t you think? Here’s her post:
Thanks Maureen, I’m really glad to share my recipe with your readers and I’m sure you have an opinion on where the this dessert originated, however the jury is still out on whether the decadent dessert known as pavlova actually originated in Australia or New Zealand. And the jury is likely to always be out on that question, because Australians and New Zealanders love to argue about stuff like that.
I decided to give Australia credit when I did this dessert for my blog, Travel by Stove. And now I can see why neither country is willing to give way to the other, because pavlova is delicious. Hell, I’d like to take credit for it, too.
No one disagrees on the inspiration for this meringue-based dessert–it was created to honor Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The chef who first made pavlova is said to have envisioned a dish as “light and airy” as the dancer herself.
So here it is, pavlova, in one of its many incarnations.
- 4 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 8 oz baking sugar (super fine, but not powdered)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence, divided
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp baking sugar
- 1 lb strawberries, quartered (or use whatever fruit is in season)
- Beat the egg whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Then gradually add the sugar, vinegar and half a teaspoon of the vanilla.
- Spread the mixture into a lightly-greased pie plate, leaving an indentation in the center for the filling (which you will add after baking).
- If your stove is electric, preheat to 400, put the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1½ hours, making sure not to disturb the pan. If your stove is gas, put the meringue in and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250 and bake for another hour.
- Turn the oven off, but don’t take the meringue out until it is cool.
- Just before you are ready to serve, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then add the sugar and vanilla extract. Spread the whipped cream into the hollow at the center of the meringue, then top with the fruit.
Note: you may have to fight your family for a second piece. I did.
Becki Robins blogs at Travel by Stove. Her blog follows her efforts to cook one meal from every nation on Earth.