There is something magical and enticing about a pavlova. I’m not sure if it’s because it is supposed to be less than perfect or the fact that it is so darn easy to make. Then again it may be the crunchy shell and soft chewy inside. Who knows! More to the point, who cares, as long as you can eat it!
This is a flexible little dish too, you can serve it as is, or with some whipped cream and fruit. Heck fill it with curd, or just fresh berries. Maybe try it with custard, ganache or caramel sauce!
Here’s what you need:
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 c”Berry sugar” scant
1 tsp of white vinegar
1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
I know what you are thinking, the ingredients sound good, well other than the vinegar, but you need it to create the classic cracking to the pavlova.
Because this is basically whipped egg whites, we need to make sure that our bowls etc are totally clean, if we don’t we lose lovely cloud-like volume! Okay lecture over!
The first step is to turn your oven to 275F. That was easy! 😊
Next use a butter knife and scribe a circle, approximately 7 inches, onto a sheet of aluminium foil. This step isn’t totally necessary however it gives you a guideline for how big/wide to make the pavlova. Place the foil on a baking sheet.
In that very clean metal bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. I use an electric mixer for this and start on low speed building up to medium. Anything faster than that and Ive ended up with egg white wash all over me and the walls.😊
Because this little dish is all about the egg white, you need to be gentle and careful with the next step so please keep that in mind. Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, one teaspoon at a time while still beating the eggs. Keep the mixer going until you’ve added all the sugar, this should result in glossy, shiny and stiff peaks. These should be glistening mountains that are a sight to behold!
Ok enough waxing poetic, let’s move onto the next step which will require a light hand. Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar into the meringue and gently fold it in. Then gently fold in the vanilla. We fold to maintain the fluffy and airiness of the meringue!
Now grab your baking sheet that we’ve lined with the foil and again prepare to be gentle. We need to spend the meringue inside the circle, ensuring that the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center, making a small well of sorts.
Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it goes a very pale, it may have a slight coloring to it, but nothing more than that.
As odd as this step is, it is essential in the making of a pavlova. Turn your oven off, leaving the door slightly ajar so the meringue cools completely. The door slightly open and the vinegar will help create the classic cracking of a pavlova while keeping the insides marshmallow soft!
Why the well? All the better to fill it with curd, cream, berries or whatever you desire!