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Pavlova with Fresh Summer Berries & Raspberry Coulis Sauce

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Pavlova (Pav) is a meringue cake that has a light and delicate crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center. This lovely dessert is typically served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit. There is a long standing debate about whether New Zealand or Australia invented this dessert, which has yet to be resolved. What we do know is that the name, Pavlova, was chosen in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured both New Zealand and Australia in 1926.

I have made this recipe, twice, and it is very easy to do. I will share with you a few tips on achieving this easy meringue. By the way, I make ice cream custard with the leftover egg yolks!

This dessert is so impressive and very simple to make. The raspberry coulis sauce takes a bit more work, but I think it's a big ta-da when I serve this dessert.

This recipe is adapted from The Joy of Baking

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Ingredients

  • MERINGUE CAKE:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup superfine or castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh fruit - kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, or other fruit of your choice. I like to use fresh blueberries, raspberries and either blackberries or olallieberries
  • RASPBERRY COULIS SAUCE:
  • 2 (8 ounce) containers fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord (Raspberry Liquor)

Details

Servings 6
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 85mins
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat oven to 250°F. and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7-inch (18-cm) circle on the paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers). Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, fold in.

Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)

The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days.

For the raspberry coulis sauce (optional):

If you are using frozen raspberries, there is no need to thaw them. Simply rinse and put into a saucepan.

Add the water, sugar, lemon rind and juice. Bring to a boil and allow the fruit to cook-- 5 to10 minutes. Ideally, using an immersion blender makes it very easily to puree the fruit. Otherwise, you can use a potato masher.

It is important that you stain the pureed fruit with a fine mesh strainer. Push the juice through, by stirring the cooked fruit. You will end up with a lot of seeds! Toss the seeds.

I prefer to have my coulis sauce a little thicker. I use about 1-2 teaspoons of Clear Jel (or cornstarch), with enough water to dissolve it (about 1 tablespoon); whisk completely before adding back to the strained fruit puree. Add this to the strained fruit puree and cook until it thickens.

If desired, add the Chambord to the coulis sauce.

I like to strain the sauce, again, to remove any potential lumps from the cornstarch (or Clearjel).

Refrigerate until cold. I have stored this for up to 2 weeks, without any problems.

Drizzle the coulis sauce over ice cream, custards, fruit or panna cota. I've even added this to warm maple syrup for a different flavor with pancakes.

Just before serving gently place the meringue onto a serving plate. Whip the cream in your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Sweeten with the sugar and vanilla and then mound the softly whipped cream into the center of the meringue. Arrange the fruit randomly, or in a decorative pattern, on top of the cream.

If desired, drizzle a raspberry coulis sauce over each serving.

Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.

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