Spiced Plum Pavlovas
- 1 1/2 pounds plums halved, pitted, and sliced 1/4" thick
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups chilled crème fraîche see * Note
- 2 tablespoons sugar
* Note: Sold at some supermarkets. If unavailable, heat 1 1/2 cups whipping cream to lukewarm (85 degrees). Remove from heat and mix in 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Cover and let stand in warm draft-free area until slightly thickened, 24 to 48 hours. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For Plums: Combine all ingredients in large skillet; toss to coat. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until plums are tender but still hold shape, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes longer; cool to room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill.)
For Meringues: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl 1 minute. Add cream of tartar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and resemble marshmallow creme, about 5 minutes. Beat in cornstarch, vinegar, vanilla, and cardamom. Drop meringue onto prepared sheet in 6 mounds, spaced 3 inches apart. Using back of spoon, make depression in center of each.
Place meringues in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 250 degrees. Bake until meringues are dry outside (but centers remain soft) and pale straw color and lift easily from parchment, about 50 minutes. Cool on sheet on rack. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
For Topping: Beat crème fraîche and sugar in medium bowl until peaks form. Refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Place meringues on plates. Spoon plum mixture into center depression. Spoon topping and any plum juices over.
This recipe yields 6 servings.