Wikipedia: Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. The name is pronounced /pævˈloʊvə/ or /pɑːvˈloʊvə/, unlike the name of the dancer, which was /ˈpɑːvləvə/ or /ˈpævləvə/. The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours toAustralia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source. The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals.
Because I am doing a trial of wheat-free eating, I have been on the lookout for creative desserts that are not: 1) cakes, 2) pies, or 3) cookies, which are pretty much my entire repertoire of dessert recipes, except for ice cream.
This recipe not only fulfilled my need for wheat-free dessert, but it looked divine. Definitely put this on your list of recipes to try, and any Russian feast day, the Assumption, or the Ascension would do just great. I did not really need an excuse, so I made it today.
I basically followed the recipe found at Joy of Baking, but only for the meringue. I sugared the raspberries and let them create their own syrup, and then whipped the cream as I always do. Make sure you have enough people to eat it when you make it, because you can't save this decadent treat.
2 cups raspberries (or other berries)
3 T. sugar
4 egg whites (at room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 t. white vinegar
1/2 T. cornstarch
1 cup whipping cream
3 T. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
Gently rinse raspberries and shake dry. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 3 T, sugar. Shake gently to distribute sugar. Let sit at room temp.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. On a sheet of parchment, make a 7-inch circle with pencil. Cut circle out, leaving about an inch border. Place on a baking sheet, pencil side down.
Place egg whites in bowl of mixer. Beat at high speed until they hold a soft peak. Slowly sprinkle in sugar, a little at a time, until all sugar is incorporated. Beat until glossy and holds stiff peaks. Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top and gently fold in.
Spoon egg mixture onto parchment and push to fill the circle, mounding meringue up on the edges more than in the middle (like a bowl).
Bake at 250 degrees until meringue is lightly golden and and outside is dry, about 60-75 minutes (outside will be dry but inside will be sort of marshmallowy). Let cool on a wire rack.
When ready to serve, place whipping cream in mixer bowl and beat on high with powdered sugar and vanilla until cream holds firm peaks.
Spoon cream into center of meringue shell. Spoon berries on top. Serve immediately.