Pavlova Takes a Bow

Mixed Berry Pavlova
Mixed Berry Pavlova

Funny that I would choose a meringue recipe to feature on my blog when  a) it is a summer recipe and it is now September,  and  b) I am trying to write more blogs with recipes using Sal del Mar.  The Pavlova recipe is a bit of a stretch to feature Sal del Mar as an ingredient since only a pinch of salt (not even an 1/8 teaspoon) is called for in the recipe.

But I have wanted to make it since earlier this summer when Gisela Asimus, a friend and part of the Karafotas-summer-Chatham-family, introduced it to me. Gisela and her family live in London and she and her husband, Sylvain, are foodies like us.  I liked the Pavlova immediately because it is not only delicious but beautiful!  And, of course that matters to me. It is also one of the best low fat (non-gluten, too) dishes to serve with seasonal fruit.

meringue

meringue

The ingredients for Pavolva are simple....egg whites, vanilla, Sal del Mar, cornstarch, white vinegar and sugar... and when beaten into “glossy peaks” it is beautiful.  The bowl looked so delicious I wanted to lick it all.  (Okay, I admit to several.)

meringue ready to bake

meringue ready to bake

Spoon the meringue into a 9-inch circle on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. The story goes that the meringue, when spooned out into a circle, looks like a ballerina’s tutu and is thus named “ Pavlova” for a famous Russian ballerina.

baked meringue

baked meringue

The next trick is to allow enough time for the Pavlova to bake in the oven and then cool down.... without opening the oven door!  The recipe calls for 1½ hours, plus cooling in the oven.  Be prepared to not need the oven for cooking anything else.  I would plan more time next time I make it...even leaving it to cool in the oven overnight.

Pavlova

Pavlova

MIXED BERRY PAVLOVA

INGREDIENTS

4  extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of Sal del Mar

1 cup sugar (superfine is best)

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Fresh berries: stawberies, hulled and sliced; blueberries and raspberries

Preheat oven to 300.

Beat egg whites and salt together with an electric mixer until glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add sugar a little at a time, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy.

Sprinkle in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla; gently fold to combine.

Mound the meringue in the center of a 9-inch circle on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Using a spatula, evenly spread meringue out toward the edges of the cirlce. Transfer the baking sheet to oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Turn off oven and let meringue cool completely in oven (overnight is best). When meringue is cool and compleately dry, top with whipped cream and desired fruits.

RASPBERRY SAUCE

(Recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home)

This sauce is delicious and adds a depth of elegance.

1 half-pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce)

1 tablespoon frambroise liquer

Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill