These light and airy desserts have a special summer feeling about them, especially when topped with exotic summer fruit. They are lovely either on a buffet table or served individually.
- 4 egg whites -
- Pinch of salt -
- 1 cup sugar -
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar -
- 3 tsp cornstarch -
- 1 tsp white vinegar -
- Cream Filling
- 8 oz dairy or non-dairy whipping cream -
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar -
- 2 tsp confectioners’ sugar -
- 1 tsp rum extract, optional (or 2 tsp orange juice) -
- Fruit Topping
- Ripe passion fruit (granadilla), kiwi, gooseberries, blueberries or whatever fruit you like -
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a beater attachment, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Add sugar slowly and beat until stiff and shiny. Pour cornstarch and vinegar over top of whites and fold in gently.
3. Make meringue shells by dropping small mounds of mixture onto a parchmentlined cookie sheet and use the back of a teaspoon to create the shape of a nest. (Alternatively, place the meringue in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe small discs and then pipe a thicker ring around the outside to create a nest.)
4. Lower oven temperature to 250°F and place cookie sheets into oven. Bake for half an hour, then turn off oven and leave meringues in oven for 2 hours or overnight to dry.
5. For the filling, whip cream in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add vanilla sugar, confectioners’ sugar and rum extract, if using.
6. Shortly before serving, spoon filling into meringue shells and top with fruit. (You can refrigerate any leftovers. However, the meringue shells will soften after filling and won’t be as crisp.)
NOTE: You can also make one large Pavlova. Just increase the baking time to 1 hour in Step 4.