Continue with the strawberry theme this week! I have some leftover roasted strawberry puree and strawberries from the Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream, so I thought what I can do. And yes, pavlova is the winner. I first learned about pavlova from watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. Ina made a beautiful mixed berry pavlova. I have been wanting to try it, and finally I did. I made individual ones, so it is easier to serve and Bryan and I do not have to eat the 7-inch cake by ourselves.
As far as I know, Pavlova is from Australia. It is a really popular dish in Australia and New Zealand. No matter where it is from. It is truly an amazing dessert to present and serve at a dinner party. It is light and it has fresh ingredients. It also highlights the berries during the spring season. The meringue is light and crisp on the outside and slightly gooey on the inside. With the fresh strawberry, strawberry puree and whipped cream, every bite is the perfect bite. You may think 3½-inch is a lot, but that is not true. It is a great serving size for one person. If you haven’t tried pavlova before, I urge you to make them today. You will not be disappointed!
Individual Strawberry Pavlova (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
6 3½-inch pavlova
– 4 large egg whites
– pinch of salt
– ¾ cup caster sugar
– ½ tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar
– ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1½ cup fresh strawberry (rinsed, hulled, and quartered)
– ½ cup roasted strawberry puree
– whipped cream
Roasted Strawberry Puree:
– 1 pint strawberries (rinsed, hulled, and sliced into ½ inch thick)
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– ½ tablespoon sugar
– ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the puree, preheat the oven to 375˚F. For the strawberries, in an 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, combine the strawberries and sugar gently. Spread the strawberries out evenly. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until just soft. Remove from oven. Set aside and let cool slightly. With a blender or food processor, puree the roasted strawberries and lemon juice together. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Reduce the oven to 250˚F for the meringues.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a 3½-inch circle mold or cup, draw 6 circles on the paper using a pencil, and space the circles apart for about 1½ inches. Once finished, turn the paper over, so the pencil marks are still visible, but do not touch the food. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and vinegar.
- In another small bowl, combine the cornstarch and sugar.
- In a large mixing bowl, add egg whites and salt. With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until trails start to appear and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer speed to medium-high, slowly add the sugar mixture and mix for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar. Turn the speed to high and beat until the meringue makes stiff peaks and glossy, about 4 – 5 minutes.
- To make meringue disk, gently pile 3 heaping teaspoons of meringue into the middle of a circle. Smooth the edges and make a slight well in the center of the meringue. Repeat with the rest of the circles.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes until the outside of the meringue is dry and has a pale cream color. During baking, if the meringues appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce the temperature 25˚F. When finished, turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly ajar. Allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1½ hour.
- Meanwhile, to make the whipped cream, in a large mixing bowl, add the cream. With a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat until it starts to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until firm. Do not overbeat.
- To assemble the pavlova, place a meringue on a plate. Top with a few dollops of whipped cream, a few teaspoons of roasted strawberry puree and some fresh strawberries. Repeat with the rest of the pavlova. Serve immediately.
- Feel free to substitute the strawberries with any other berries. I have used blueberries and raspberries before. They came out great.
- Do not feel like roasting strawberries? No problem. Blend the strawberries in a blender. Cook them with 2-tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make smooth and round meringue disk, scoop a heaping spoon of meringue into the middle of one circle. Scoop another heaping spoon of meringue and place on top of last spoon of meringue. Gently squish the meringue down and out with a spoon until it has reached the circle line. Place another spoon of meringue on top. Using the spoon to make a slight well in the middle.
- To make the oven door slightly ajar, I rolled up a piece of paper towel and put in between the oven and door. So I can control how much the oven door is opened.
- For storage, the meringue can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. (Not with toppings)