A Strawberry Pavlova is one of summer’s great desserts! Crisp and snowy on the outside and marshmallow-like on the inside, the topping is lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh local strawberries. Because the berries are left whole and unsweetened, the flavours are the purest you’ll ever taste, layered with cream and soft meringue.
When it is inverted and the parchment is removed, the Pavlova will fall a bit and it becomes a cinch to fill and to serve. It needs absolutely no garnish.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup (250 mL) superfine sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
- 2 tsps (10 mL) white vinegar
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups (250 – 375 mL) whipping cream 35%
- 2 tsps (10 mL) superfine sugar
- 4 cups ( 1 L) fresh whole strawberries, hulled
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Beat the egg whites till stiff enough to hold soft peaks. Slowly beat in the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time. This will take 2 to 3 minutes. The resulting meringue will be shiny and soft. Sift the cornstarch over it, sprinkle with the vinegar and, using a spatula, very lightly fold it together.
Mound the meringue onto the centre of the prepared pan. With a spatula spread it to an 8” (20 cm) circle, smoothing the top and the sides. Bake in a preheated 250 ‘F (120’C) oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan. Store in an airtight container or use immediately.
To fill, whip the cream (use more if you love it like we do) with the sugar until stiff. Place the serving dish over the pavlova and gently invert. Peel off the parchment carefully. The smooth bottom becomes the top of the dessert and reveals the marshmallow-y centre. Spoon the whipped cream over the entire surface. Arrange the fresh fruit on top. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe from Anita Stewart’s CANADA: the Food, the Recipes, the Stories (Harper Collins Canada 2008)