Winter Berry Pavlovas
The national dessert of Australia is named for the world-famous ballerina Anna Pavlova. A crisp shell of meringue is topped with whipped cream and a refreshing berry salad. Feel free to substitute light ricotta cheese for the whipped cream or fold some plain yogurt into the whipped cream.
- 6 egg whites
- 1/8 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, sifted
- 1 Teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 Cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened with 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 pint containers blueberries, rinsed
- 2 pint containers raspberries, rinsed
- 1 Pound strawberries, rinsed, cored, and sliced
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whip egg whites (with the help of an electric mixer or stand mixer) until stiff peaks are reached, about 5 minutes. Add salt and then the cup of sugar gradually, in tablespoon increments, while continuing to whip, until a very stiff meringue is obtained. Fold in cornstarch, followed by white vinegar.
Spoon meringue into 5-inch round circles. Use the back of a spoon to spread the meringue evenly and flatten the center, making a hollow to hold the cream and berries. Bake for one hour or until lightly brown and quite firm. Turn oven off and leave meringues inside with door closed, for one more hour. Remove and set in a dry area to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare berry salad by mixing all berries together. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and toss. Chill until ready to serve.
To finish, carefully set meringues on individual dessert plates. Top each one with whipped cream and berries. Serve immediately.