My Favorite Pavlova Dessert Recipe
The light and airy Pavlova meringue is named after legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova, whose ethereal grace defined elegance, both on stage and and off, in the early 1900s. Enjoy!
For the meringue: 4 egg whites, 1 1/8 c. white sugar, 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 tsp. cornstarch
For the filling and topping: 3/4 c. heavy cream, 2 tsp. confectioner's sugar, berries and/or other fruit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To make the meringue shell, whip the egg whites until they start to become stiff (forming soft peaks). While continuing to whip, add the cream of tartar and gradually add the sugar. Whip until mixture is thick and glossy and forms stiff peaks. Gently fold in the vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch until mixed well.
Use a spoon or pastry bag to create a neat circle of the mixture on the baking sheet, 6-8 inches in diameter. Form a bowl shape by hollowing out the center and raising the sides. Place in oven and reduce temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour, until the outside is crisp and the edges are creamy gold (not browned). When baking is done, turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside for at least 15 minutes. When it is fully cool, carefully remove to a serving plate.
Just before serving, whip the cream and confectioner's sugar until stiff, and then spoon into the meringue shell. Top with fresh fruit in a beautiful design. Berries are the most traditional topping, but Pavlova variations feature a spectrum of fruits, so feel free to be creative!
Born in 1881 in St. Petersburg, Russia, Anna Pavlova became the shining star of the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre and created an international sensation with Ballets Russes and her touring company. She was known for both the lightness of her style and the strength of her technique, and her fame helped bring the art of ballet to the public eye.