It’s Pav time! Pav, for the uninitiated/un-Antipodean, means pavlova, created to honor Anna Pavlova’s famous tutu on her trip down under. Kiwis and Aussies alike will have crocodile dundee level knife fights over who actually created it (just kidding, it’s actually a koala thunderdome), but in the end it doesn’t matter much, because we’re all too busy eating it to care. This is a simple version of my mom’s recipe. Light, fluffy, and oh so delicious.
Makes 1 large or 4 small
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
2 egg whites
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 275 F. Sift the sugar and cornstarch. On low, mix the whites and salt for 1-2 minutes, or until frothy. Go up to medium high, gently adding in the dry ingredients. Once the meringue is glossy and forming soft peaks (anywhere from 4-10 minutes, depending on your mixer), finish on high speed and add the vanilla.
Spoon the meringue onto a piece of parchment paper, and spread so it forms a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick layer (thicker for larger pavlovas), and then add more meringue around the edge, forming a border of little peaks. It should be anywhere from 1-3 inches high, depending on how high your pavlova is.
Pop in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes for small pavlovas, and an 80-90 minutes for large pavlova. It should be a slight beigy-pink and definitely NOT toasted. Turn off the heat and crack the oven open. Let the pavlovas cook to room temperature and remove (this is to prevent cracks and to cook it totally through). You want it crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Make this just before serving since the whipping cream will dissolve the meringue over time. Combine garnishing ingredients, and sprinkle on top.
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint strawberries, quartered
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blackberries
Whip together the cream, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest until soft peaks form. Fold in the berries, reserving some for garnish, and pour into the meringue. Serve immediately. Garnish with berries and orange peel.