Pavlova is a meringue style dessert with fruit and cream, was developed in the 1920s and named after the ballerina Anna Pavlova (there is some controversy over whether it originated in New Zealand or Australia). It is gluten free, light and airy, and paired with fresh whipped cream and bourbon sweet freckles cherries--this pavlova has a unique flavor all its own. It is a perfect summertime dessert, and while it is baked--the temperature stays at 250F so the oven won't warm up the kitchen too much!
Pavlova with Whipped Cream and a Bourbon Cherry Sauce
pavlova recipe adapted from Alton Brown + foodnetwork.com
5 egg whites, room temperature (I used large, range free brown eggs)
Pinch of salt
1 cup cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup whipping cream
1 heaping teaspoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Bourbon Cherry Sauce
1 cup fresh Sweet Freckles cherries pitted and halved (about 10)
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup water
1. Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Use a plate and pen to trace a 8-9" circle on parchment paper, then flip over the parchment paper (lines will show through).
2. Place egg whites and pinch of salt in mixing bowl and whisk at high speed 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add sugar over 2 minutes. Stop and scrape sides of bowl, then mix sugar and egg white mixture on high for 6-7 minutes. Mixture will be smooth and glossy with stiff peaks. Turn off mixer and add vanilla, vinegar, and cornstarch. Mix with spoon just to combine.
3. Sprinkle water onto parchment paper (this will help prevent sticking), then spoon pavlova mixture onto parchment and spread to fit the shape of the circle. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave in oven until completely cool and meringue is dry on the outside (at least 3 hours).
4. Mix whipping cream until fluffy, then stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Spread onto top of pavlova.
5. Add cane sugar, bourbon, water, and fresh cherries to a heavy bottom skillet. Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to low-medium for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften cherries. Mixture will thicken as it cooks. Pour cherry sauce over whipped cream and pavlova.
Cooking down the sweet freckles cherries was my favorite part of the process. The fruit is beautiful to look at and pleasantly sweet!
This pavlova recipe is light and fresh, and can easily be modified to use your favorite fresh fruit. The trick is following each step, and allowing the meringue to fully cool.
Have you ever made a pavlova?