Friday, August 14, 2009

Pavlova


Our last week in England an Australian/New Zealand family (the mother from one and the father from the other) had us over to dinner. For dessert we had a Pavlova, and although I was worried at first, not being a fan of marshmallows, I loved the contrasts of textures, and I have been in love ever since. You can read about the history of Pavlova here, which like out dinner hosts comes from Australia and/or New Zealand. Pavlova is a simple dessert, with a baked meringue crust (that should still be soft and marshmallowy in the center), filled with whipped cream, and traditionally topped with strawberried and kiwis, although any fruit can be used as a topping. A seductively simple dessert, Pavlova feels like the essence of Summer cooking, with light flavors and intriguing texture. Pavlova is also a popular dessert in England. I suggest for your next dinner party, or just when you have some extra fruit and whipped cream, to try this for a change. I love Pavlova for entertaining, because the meringue needs to be made ahead, and the fruit can be prepared ahead, so all you have to do at the moment is whip the cream and assemble the dish.

Pavlova is not a picky dessert, and although it helps to use a recipe for the meringue base, anything goes for the rest. Some popular toppings are tropical fruit, berries of any kind, and I have even seen in cookbooks chocolate pavlovas topped with nuts. Personally, I think the fruit idea is more refreshing, but I wouldn't pass up a chocolate strawberry pavlova. (Avram would though. How did I end up married to a man who doesn't like Chocolate? What little old lady did I diss in the pre-existence?) A good recipe for Pavlova can be found at the Joy of Baking site.

6 comments:

Heidi Davies said...

My Mom would make something similar to this, except she would shape into a heart and only put strawberries on top. And I think the merengue wouldn't still be soft in the middle. Yours sounds yummier.

Amelia said...

Sounds like a lighter simpler version of your mom's "Cherry Berries on a Cloud" dessert that she use to make for dad for Valentines day. I've made it for Todd, I'll have to try this one. What do you do with your egg yolks?

Kimberly said...

I made that for our anniversary this year and in my opinion it's pure heaven! I use the egg yolks to make a lemon filling for the pavlova then top with whipped cream. So yummy!

Camilla said...

i make this.. well i make the cherry berries on a cloud which is this same thing except i mix in some cream cheese to the whip cream and put cherries or strawberries on top. but ya, i personally love meringue crusts. the texture is so yummy to me!

Thora said...

I just save the egg yolks in the fridge, and then throw it in some eggy dish. Like if I make eggs for my girls , adding the extra yolks (they can handle all that cholesterol). Any homemade pudding uses egg yolks. So does Lemon curd, which is absolutely delicious, even if it's not healthy. I've frozen egg yolks before, but they never seem to quite reconstitute properly. On the other hand, I freeze egg whites all the time, and they do fine.

Veiltender said...

Too bad I don't like pavlova-it's the meringue, I think.