Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It has a crisp crust and soft, light almost marshmallow-y inside. It is light and airy, and resembles a ballerina’s tutu. Often Pavlovas are topped with whipped cream and berries upon serving.
No one knows for sure where the dessert originated, but it is said that when Anna Pavlova toured the world and came to visit Australia and New Zealand, someone made this dessert for her, hence the name. Till this day the two countries are still debating as to who came up with the dessert first.
The main ingredient in Pavlovas is egg whites and sugar. While this dessert is not difficult to make and uses only a handful of ingredients, great care should be taken during the preparation process.
Cook’s Note: Pavlovas (without the topping) can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two days.
Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Anna_Pavlova_ca.1910-15.jpg/301px-Anna_Pavlova_ca.1910-15.jpg
- 1/2 cup Fine, granulated Sugar
- 2 Egg whites
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold Heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Whip the cream in the bowl with an electric mixer or a hand mixer. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don’t over beat, otherwise it will turn into butter!
For the Fruit topping
You can top with any fruit you like, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Or you can make this into a Fall dessert and add oranges and pomegranate seeds.
In a food processor, pulse the sugar to make it fine (unless using extra-fine) and set aside.
Spoon the mixture into 4 piles on the prepared baking sheet. Use a spoon to create a well in each pile. Bake for 40 minutes, and then turn off the oven and leave the pavlovas in the oven untouched for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.