Meringue + Whipped Cream + Seasonal Fruit = Sweet, sweet perfection.
There is nothing like the smell & taste of a June strawberry in Ontario. A summer pavlova is one of the best ways to eat seasonal strawberries, if you’re not already eating them by the pint. Crunchy & chewy meringue, pillow-y whipped cream and macerated strawberries combine to make the ultimate summer dessert. Baking the meringue the day before gives you plenty of time to let it cool and dry in the oven overnight. The meringue can be stored and wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 4 days before being topped with whipped cream and berries.
Origins: The origin of pavlova is hotly debated between Australia & New Zealand. The dessert was said to be inspired by the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova while she was dancing on tour. A traditional fruit combo is strawberries & kiwi fruit. Passion fruit is also often used.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
BAKE TIME: 1 hour + cooling time
4 large egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 (340g/pints) pkg strawberries, topped and quartered
3 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 ½ cups 35% whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place egg whites, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. With the mixer still running on high speed, add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Whisk until the egg whites hold stiff peaks after each addition. Continue whisking after all the sugar has been added and until meringue holds stiff peaks, are thick, glossy. Whisk in vanilla extract.
3. Mound meringue onto prepared baking sheet. Place a small dab of meringue underneath each corner of parchment paper on the baking sheet to help the paper stick in place. Spread meringue into an 8-inch circle, about the size of a large plate. Indent the centre slightly, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Place meringue on the middle rack of preheated oven, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off. Let meringue cool completely in oven (at least 2 hours) or preferably, overnight. Meringue will crack slightly as it cools.
4. Combine strawberries with 2 tbsp sugar and let sit for 25-30 minutes, until sugar is dissolved and you start to see strawberry juices pooling in the bottom of the bowl. When ready to serve, whip cream with 1 tbsp sugar. Dollop cream on top of pavlova. Top with strawberries and any strawberry juices. Serve immediately.