O my! Had I known pavlova is a such a wonderful dessert, I would’ve made it long ago. The important thing now is that I know exactly what to make when I have leftover egg whites.
There was a traditional carnival happening here a few weeks back and I had to make some doughnuts and something called hroštole, or krhki flancati which is a typical pastry for this time. I only needed the egg yolks for that, so I had some leftover egg whites, a LOT actually haha. And so I planned to make pavlova and meringues.
The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in New Zealand or Australia. Pavlova is basically a baked meringue with added cornstarch, so the outside is really crisp and the inside is soft and like a marshmallow. It is usually topped with whipped cream and fruit. The most common fruit used is forest fruit, strawberries and kiwi. And I do love the combination of strawberries and cream (Eton mess), but it’s not the strawberry season yet, so I sure won’t use them (I really dislike fruit when it’s not in season).
So I made the pavlova with something equally delicious. Exotic fruit! I love mangos, passion fruit and fruit like that. It also doesn’t grow here locally, so the season doesn’t really matter as everything is imported. I used mango, passion fruit, kiwi, pineapple, blueberries and some lime juice. Man it works so well!
It’s refreshing, delicious and so light, I could eat the whole dessert by myself. Besides waiting for the meringue to whip, bake and cool, there is not a lot of work really. Chopping some fruit and whipping the cream. It doesn’t get easier than that. Of course you could use any fruit you want and have on your hand, experiment!
4 eggs whites (around 120 g)
230 g powdered sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vinegar
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 g whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
handful of blueberries
1 passion fruit
2 tsp lime juice
Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you need help, draw two 21 cm circles on the parchment paper and turn it around. Whip the egg whites on a medium speed. When they start to froth, add cream of tartar and slowly start adding sugar, increase the speed to mid-high. Beat for about 7-8 minutes, until you get very glossy, stiff peaks. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar, mix until distributed. Now add cornstarch and mix it in on low speed. With a spoon, distribute the meringue inside the two circles. Make it a bit lower on the inside. Lower the heat to 130°C and bake for 1 h and 10 min. Leave the meringues inside and turn off the oven. Stick a wooden spoon or something between the oven door, so it can slowly cool down. After an hour, or when the oven is cooled, take out the meringues and carefully remove them from the parchment paper.
Cut the fruit to small pieces and mix it together with lime juice. Lightly whip the cream with the scraped vanilla bean seeds. Don’t over-whip the cream! It should lightly keep shape and not too stiff.
You can store the meringues in an airtight container for a few days. Only top with cream and fruit when you are ready to serve.
Put one meringue on a plate and top it with half of the whipped cream. Top with half of the fruit and place the other meringue on that. Put on the rest of the cream and fruit. Voila!