There was a woman at our college who made Pavlova for her birthday one year, invited us all over, and I've been craving one ever since. That was 10 years ago. Pavlova is an Australian dessert named after a ballerina - so of course it's lighter than air. Pavlova have scared me, and I really can't explain why. The egg whites? The possibility of it falling? I don't know. But, spring is FINALLY here, and I finally tried it today. It was not perfect, but I think I know what I messed up, and overall it wasn't a bad first try!
So, here it goes!
- stand mixer
- whisk attachment
- baking sheet
- baking paper
- something that is a 9 inch round
- 4 egg whites (separated chilled, but brought to room temp.)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Lemon whipped cream:
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- zest from 2 lemons (save some of this for garnish)
Strawberries (or any other yummy fruit to top with)
1. Preheat oven to 300 F/150 C. If you have a convection oven, make sure you have it set to regular oven - I made that mistake, and after 10 minutes of it being on the convection setting, and it already started to brown - aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! SO, mine got more "toasted" than I would've liked, but oh well. It still tasted really good!
2. In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment), beat your egg whites on a medium high speed for 5 minutes, until soft peaks form.
3. Add half the sugar, and beat for another 30 seconds. Add remaining sugar and beat on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form (about another 2 minutes). Add vanilla extract, and beat for another 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, fold in corn starch and cream of tartar.
4. Trace around your 9 inch pan (or whatever) on a sheet of baking paper, and flip it over. Place it on the baking sheet.
5. Pour the Pavlova mixture onto the baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread the mixture out to the edges - where the pencil mark is.
6. Place Pavlova in the oven, and turn temperature down to 200 F/ 90 C. Bake for 60-90 minutes, until Pavlova is firm and dry. (You can put your hand in real quick to touch it really quickly.)
7. Turn off the oven, and allow the Pavlova to cool for at least 1-2 hours, but overnight is okay, too. I waited for 4 hours.
8. Right before serving the Pavlova, make the whipped cream. Start by whipping together the cream, sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks start to form. Next, pour in lemon juice and most of the zest. Whisk until just combined.
9. Top the Pavlova with the whipped cream and strawberries, adding a little more garnish to the top.