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A Dessert From Down Under

Pavlovas are from Australian–or New Zealand–I’ll let them figure out where it came from. It’s a dessert that looks elegant, tastes delicious and is actually quite simple to make. Not only that but It’s the perfect end to a romantic meal. Just sweet enough to be dessert. Not so rich and filling that your significant other wants to fall asleep instead of keeping you company while you enjoy the summer sunset.

And the meringue base works with any combination of fruit that happens to be in season–berries now, then peaches and plums, pears late in the season. Probably even drained canned fruit in the dead of winter when there’s not much fresh in the stores!

You’ll look like you should be running a pastry shop with this dessert. I promise.

pavlovas

Pavlova (makes 4-3 inch meringues)

For the meringues:

2 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

3 tablespoons of sugar

For the filling:

1 cup mixed fruit, diced or chopped if large pieces

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla

mint leaves to garnish

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. At high speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Continue beating adding sugar gradually. Beat until glossy, stiff peaks form.

3. Spoon 4 circles of meringue, 3 inches wide onto baking sheet. With spoon make a depression in the center of each circle.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until meringues are golden.

5. Turn oven off and leave meringues in for at least 1 and up to 4 hours. Remove from oven and cool.

6. Whip heavy cream until thickened but not still. Add sugar and vanilla. Chill for an hour.

7. Assemble the dessert by topping each meringue with 1/4 of the whipped cream, then layering with 1/4 of the fruit. Garnish with mint leaf.