Raspberry Pavolva

There are as many recipes for, and methods of cooking Pavlova as there are blades of grass! Each differs slightly.

I am making individual Pavlova for 16 people this Christmas - with the big dinner on December 28th. The photo here is my trial run, which I made yesterday. Here is how i make my Pavlova:

Ingredients for Meringue:

2 large eggs
1/2 cup fine castor sugar or granulated sugar
pinch of tartar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for topping:

2 cups of whipping cream
1/4 cup white sugar
4 - 6 oz raspberries

Preheat oven to 200' F. Meantime combine 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar and cream of tartar in a metal mixing bowl. To separate eggs, use your fingers as separators! Just break the egg in half, and pour it into the palm of your hand. Let the white slide through your fingers into a bowl or measuring cup and make sure the yolk stays in your palm. Of course I assume your hands are clean....

If the eggs are not at room temperature (and mine never are, I'm not organized enough to have them out and warming up!), then place or hold the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water and whisk or use a hand mixer to beat for about 3 minutes. Be sure whites are warm to the touch before you stop whisking

Now use your mixmaster and start beating the egg mixture on low, increasing to high until you see stiff glossy peaks. This takes about 10 minutes, sometimes longer. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined

Now comes the part where every cook has their own favourite way of forming the Meringue into one large pavlova or individual servings. If I am making individual pavlovas, I use large size muffin pans and spray them generously with olive oil spray. 2 large eggs makes 4 individual pavlovas in muffin pans. Then you spoon the Meringue into each muffin area. Scoop out middle and make sure there are sides. The Meringue should be about 1/2 inch thick.

Place muffin pans in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, watching carefully to be sure Meringue doesn't get too brown. If it does, turn oven down to 175'. If it is fine, keep oven at 200' and continue cooking another 2 hours. When time is up, turn off oven and leave Meringue in pans in oven overnight or 12 hours.

When you take the pans out of the oven you can turn them over and firmly smack the bottom so the Meringue falls out. Don't worry if some crack or even have a few small pieces fall off, as you can repair this with the whip cream

Next - whip the cream with 1/4 sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into the Meringue shells and then spoon raspberries over the top. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve.

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