Monday, December 24, 2007

Pavlova - A Perfect Summer Dessert

This recipe may be doubled to make an 18 inch dessert, cooking time remaining pretty much the same.

4 egg white (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons corn starch
15 fluid ounces whipped cream, whipped
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
soft fruit.

Mark a 9 or 18 inch (if doubling) circle on a large sheet of parchment paper.

Place on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. F.

When preparing a Pavlova recipe, the most important thing is to have scrupulously clean utensils, free of grease or egg shell. The success of the meringue depends on it. It is also important that the egg whites are at room temperature before beating them.

Whisk  egg whites til shiny.

Continuously whisk in sugar, a Tablespoon at a time, until glossy and thick.

Carefully fold in the vanilla, vinegar and corn starch.

Spoon mixture inside the circle and make well in center.  Bake one hour, and when cool carefully transfer to serving platter.  Top with whipped cream to which you've added the vanilla pod seeds and fruit.

If the room is fairly cool, open the oven door, after turning the heat off, letting the shell cool a little more gradually, removing  from the oven when cool.  Cracks will form either way, and are not noticeable with the whipped cream.