I had every intention of posting this blog days ago… but alas, with a newborn, my time is not my own. Actually, that’s a lie. Technically, Ruby is no longer a ‘newborn.’ At over three months, she is considered an ‘infant.’ An ‘infant?’ Sounds so…big… No, she’s TOTALLY a newborn!!! *cries real tears*
But I digress…
Today on the blog I’m sharing a pavlova recipe. Pavlova, for those that may not know, is a whipped mixture basically of egg whites and sugar that is baked at such a low degree, it doesn’t seem like it’s being baked at all! The moisture is evaporated out until you have a hard outer shell and an ooey, gooey marshmallow-y (technical term) center.
And the fun part about pavlovas is that not only is it a GREAT way to use up those egg whites after making pastry cream but it is also super fun to pipe. I piped mine into a sunshine shape. Or a flower shape. I can’t decide. You decide?
Pavlova can be very sweet (it’s pretty much a cup of sugar to 4 egg whites), so I love to cut it with some tart lemon cream. In today’s recipe, I’ve adapted a lemon cream recipe from Tartine Bakery, in San Francisco, WHICH! Visiting their website, I’ve learned they’re opening up some kind of juggernaut ‘manufactory’ in Los Angeles. Ooohhhhh, exciting!!!
Anyway, this lemon cream is TO DIE FOR… It’s super tart and creamy. All that I did in my recipe was remove some of the butter so the flavor would be even more tart to offset the sweetness in the pavlova. But typically? It’s perfection in lemon cream. If you’re a lemon lover, I don’t say these things lightly! The recipe I’ve included makes 2 & 1/2 cups but trust me you’ll be grateful for leftovers it’s that good!
My go to pavlova recipe is Ina’s, OF COURSE. “Ina, Ina, Ina, Mandi…” I know. (I want her to be my next door neighbor or great Aunt or something). Pavlova was perfect for this weekend as not only can pavlova be decorated to match the spirit of the weekend, but my friend Candy gave me some wonderful lemons from her tree. A total score!! So I baked her off and filled the shell with lemon cream…
Then I covered her in whipped cream and fresh berries. I was going to buy blueberries– you know– red, white and blue. But up by us everything is ridonkulously expensive. Blueberries at our local grocery were $4.99 for a non-organic 6 ounces!!! I just… I couldn’t. And usually I’ll suck it up for ingredients cause I need them that bad. For whatever reason, this got my goat. Ha! So I settled for our dreamy blackberries from Aldi’s for– ahem– $2.49. (I want to live with Ina Garten at Aldi’s, by the way).
So red, white and black it is! But look, they’re blue star decorations!!! *cue America the Beautiful*
Man, that lemon cream did its’ job and just cut through the sweetness of that pavlova. Still sweet, for sure, but with the zip of the cream and the tart of the berries? So refreshing! Perfect barbecue dessert!
Even Ruby thought so… 😉
OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE TOES ON MY NEWBORN!! I MEAN INFANT!! I MEAN NEWBORN!!! *cries again*
Pavlova’s are extremely easy but a little tricky. 🙂
For starters, our oven is pretty old and it’s hard to get it to stay at 180 degrees, so I had to check mine constantly– upping and lowering the temp continuously. Second, you need to make sure to incorporate the sugar at the right time while whipping your egg whites– very slowly, around the soft peak stage. This is to make sure the sugar has time enough to dissolve. Otherwise, you’ll have whipped egg whites with sugar granules. It will deflate when you bake it and all of the sugar will ‘weep’ out. You also won’t get that lovely glossy and marshmallow-y texture. If you’re not sure you’re quite there, just rub a bit between your fingers.
And you know? If it weeps a little… it’s just feeling its feelings, man.
I’m not a huge meringue fan but watching The Great British Bake-off and all of Mary Berry’s masterclasses on these tall and frosted meringue cakes, it makes me feel all fancy pants to do it. Ha! It truly is a light and refreshing dessert for summer. And be sure to eat it quickly! It won’t last more than a day or two…
But who are we kidding? Like that’s a problem? 😉
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everybody! Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and share with your friends! And many, many thanks today to our courageous veterans. Today I’m remembering my grandfather and father in law, who have both served and are no longer with us. xoxo
Memorial Day Pavlova
A crunchy and marshmallow-y meringue treat filled with tart lemon cream, whipped cream and refreshing berries!
2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (meyer, if possible)
1 large egg yolk
3/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
4 egg whites, room temp
pinch of salt
1 c. sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. heavy cream, cold
2 T. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 pint of strawberries
1/2 pint of blackberries or blueberries
On very low heat, combine the lemon juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a frying pan, whisking constantly until thickened.* Your thermometer should register 180° F. It should take about 8-12 minutes.
Let cool for five minutes and stir in the butter.**
Let set in the fridge for at least two hours but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and salt together with a whisk attachment on high for about one minute. Until you just about reach the 'soft peak stage.'
While the mixer is still on high, slowly pour in the sugar and beat for about two minutes. The meringue should be glossy and look like marshmallow. There should be no sugar granules when rubbed between your fingers.
Sift in the cornstarch and add the vanilla and vinegar. Carefully fold together with a spatula until just combined.**
Pile the meringue into the middle of the lined sheet pan. Make a well in the middle. (Or feel free to pipe a design, always leaving some kind of well for the cream and berries).
Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Then, turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Whip cream until fairly thick. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until thick and desired consistency.
Fill the pavlova shell with lemon cream. Cover the top with whipped cream and fresh berries. Decorate to your heart's content!
*Whisk constantly so that the mixture doesn't become too hot. If overheated, the eggs will literally scramble.
**I use my cuisinart to add the butter to the lemon cream. It aerates it a bit, gets out any lumps and incorporates evenly.
**Be careful not to overbeat as you don't want to lose the air incorporated into the whites.