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The Perfect Pavlova

The Pavlova is the perfect contrast between the crispy meringue and light fluffy cream that’s topped with seasonal fruit.


a pavlova topped with berries


Makes a 10-inch cake; or 15 individual cakes


Meringue

4 large egg whites, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup coconut sugar, or other sugar (see cooks note)

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted


Filling

3 cups, of fresh strawberries, halved, or other seasonal fruit

1 tsp. monk fruit, or other sugar, to macerate the berries

1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest


Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp organic powdered sugar, or maple syrup ~ Mint leaves to garnish, optional


The Process

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.


Trace a 10-inch circle on a piece of parchment (trace around a dinner plate), place the parchment on a cookie sheet, and set aside. If making individual cakes, put the meringue in a pastry bag, and pipe a small amount to make 15 circles. Alternatively, make small mounds with a soup spoon.

In the bowl of a large mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.

Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue beating while gradually adding 2 tablespoons of the sugars until soft peaks form.


Gradually beat in the remaining sugar until the whites are very stiff and glossy. Meringue should stand up on your whisk with a peak.


Ready to bake. Spread the meringue into the circle on the parchment, creating a slight well in the center with the back of a spoon, for the cream and berries to sit in.


Do not worry if it is not perfect. Ragged is beautiful. Wet your fingers or the spatula to help spread the meringue more easily if necessary.


Bake without opening the oven door for 1.5 -2 hours, until firm to the touch. It can be a little bit sticky in the center. Turn off the oven and let the meringue cool in the oven for another hour.


About an hour before serving, combine the strawberries, blueberries, lemon zest, and sugar as needed in a large bowl and let the berries release their juices.


In the bowl of a large mixer, beat the heavy cream with the sweetener of choice at medium speed until soft peaks form.


To assemble, place the meringue on a large cake plate or platter. Spread the cream mixture on top, then top with the berries and serve in slices or individual meringues.


Cook’s note: Meringue can be made 1 day ahead and stored airtight in a cool, dry place. Serve immediately after adding whipped cream and fruit. If using coconut sugar, grind it in a spice grinder to a fine consistency.


Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach.

To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com


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