Cherry Pavlovas

I love pavlovas; they’re crunchy and soft and chewy at the same time. But most of all, they’re usually served cold (or at least my toppings are cold), so they are perfectly refreshing when the temperatures start to creep up. And they’re low on calories, so they’re not overly filling. The ideal dessert for a hot summer night.

Pavlovas are traditionally a large meringue filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. They can be large and cut into pieces and served, or like these, they are adorable individual desserts (which I prefer, because I don’t like to share).

I like to add a little bit extra to mine in the form of preserves or curds. One of my favorite variations is to make fresh lemon curd and top with ripe blueberries. In today’s I left the whipped cream because it works beautifully with the meringue (no need to mess with perfection) and then added Tart Cherry and White Tea preserves and chopped, fresh cherries.

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Ingredients: 
Meringues:
4 egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla (or scrape vanilla beans from 1 pod)
Whipped cream:
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 jar Tart Cherry and White Tea preserves
Cherries (as many as you like)

Preheat oven to 300° (but will turn down to 250° when the meringues go in).

Begin by separating 4 eggs. Keep the whites and save the yolks for another recipe (if we were making the lemon curd, they would be used in that). Begin whipping the egg whites and 1/2 tsp salt on low for a minute. We’re unraveling the proteins so that we can get good volume out of them. Turn the speed up to medium and add 1/3 of the sugar. Let it whip for another minute or two. Turn the speed up to high and add another 1/3 of the sugar. Continue whipping and add the last 1/3 of sugar. Whip until meringue holds a nice peak and has a glossy look. Usually my total mixing time is about 10 minutes.

Pavlova meringue Whisk_Logo

Take bowl from the mixer and fold in the vanilla and cornstarch.

Place meringues on a parchment lined tray. I used my 1/2 cup scooper to portion out exact amounts of meringue and used a spatula to spread them out and create a small hollow in the center. You don’t want to go all the way to the paper, just create an edge that will help hold the toppings.

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Bake meringues at 250° for an hour. Meringues should be ever so slightly browned and should peel from the parchment easily. Turn off the over and let them finish cooling there.

Finished Pavlovas_Logo

The whipped cream comes together quickly with your stand mixer or hand mixer (or, like I did in this coffee milkshake, you can shake your own whipped cream). Add whipped cream to the bowl and whip on medium, then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Once it begins to thicken, turn it all the way up and let it go for a minute. Thick, delicious whipped cream. I could just eat it with a spoon and be done.

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But we’re not.

Pull the dried meringues from the oven and top with a layer of whipped cream, followed by a layer of preserves and finally chopped cherries.

Pavlova with preserves_Logo

I’ve assembled these ahead of time (up to a day) and served them with little noticeable difference. Just keep them stored in a closed container in the refrigerator. Or, you can keep the meringues in an airtight container sitting out and assemble desserts whenever the mood strikes.

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You could easily create a make-it-yourself pavlova bar and let people add different fruits, preserves, ganache and flavored whipped creams that they choose.

treatsie

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