Sunday, September 8, 2013


So whatta you do with 6 egg whites after making Bearnaise that needs only the yolks.  Save them.  Bring to room temp and make Pavlova.  What that heck is that?  Its a totally retro desert made from layers of meringue, whipped cream, berries and a fresh berry sauce.  The meringue is crunchy on the outside and marshmallowy creamy chewy inside, the whipped cream is cool and the berry's have the right bite of acid to cut through the cream making it oh so yummy with contrasting tastes and textures.  Quite delightful.

You can use pretty much any berry you want, just make sure they are what is good at the market that day.  In my case the berry's that looked the best were strawberry and raspberry.  They had no wild blueberry which I would have loved for the color and flavor pop, only those nasty cultivated ones that are gritty and yucky.  If they had decent wild blueberry I would have used them too. sunny SoCal good fresh wild blueberry are hard to find.

Tips...I got a few for you:

  • For the meringue as I've said it before, find a copper bowl, egg whites reach maximum volume in a copper bowl.  Do not attempt on a humid day as the eggs won't whip.  Do use clean bowl and beater as the slightest bit of oil will prevent them from whipping.
  • Whipped cream...chill the bowl and beaters and use the whipping cream straight from the fridge for best results.  Use care not to over beat as you wind up with sweetened butter which is kinda gross.
  • Strawberry sauce...stir often to keep it from scorching which can happen very quickly as it reduces.

makes 6-8 servings

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.  Take quarter sheet pan and cut off a piece of parchment paper, not wax paper that will fit the pan.  Using a dinner plate trace around the plate with a dark pen.  Turn paper over and place the ink side down on the baking sheet. 

Using a clean copper bowl and beaters add room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar.  Beat on low speed a minute or two until frothy and the egg whites are starting to foam with the cream of tartar dissolved.  Add a pinch of salt.  Increase speed to high and beat until doubled in volume. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold in vanilla.  

Take the prepared baking sheet and parchment paper and plop the meringue mixtures onto the center of the circle.  Spread to edges with a spatula.  Make the meringue as even as possible so it bakes evenly.  Place in preheated oven and bake 20 minutes.  At end of baking turn off the oven and crack open the door for 20 minutes.  Close the oven and let it sit over night until cool.

Sweetened whipped cream

  • 1 c cold cream
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Take chilled bowl and beaters out of the fridge.  Add whipping cream and beat on high until frothy.  Slowly add sugar in a steady stream and beat until thickened.  Fold in Vanilla.  Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Strawberry sauce

  • 1 pints strawberry - sliced
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c water

Place berries in a sauce pot.  Add sugar and water.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Once at a boil reduce heat to simmer and cook berries about 30 minutes until they are nearly disintegrated and reduced about 1/3 in volume.  Stir often so they don't scorch.  Cool to room temperature.  Whiz in blender or with hand blender to make a smooth sauce.

Fruit for assembly

  • 1/2 pint raspberry - whole
  • 1 pints strawberry - sliced
  • 1/2 pint wild blueberry (if you can find them)

Place meringue on a platter.  Layer the whipped cream evenly over the top of the cooled meringue.  Add berries in even layer over the whipped cream.  Cut Pavlova into wedges and put each wedge on a plate.  Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce over the Pavlova.  

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