Hillary’s Winter Pavlova

Hilary's Pavlova

Hillary, our in-house Pastry Chef made a wonderful tropical pavlova for a recent wedding show we attended. Our staff couldn’t stop eating it, as well as the wedding crowd. Get ready to wow your friends and guests with this recipe!
Pavlova is a classic dessert that is made up of three components: meringue, whipped cream and fruit. This time of year, in-season and readily available tart, tropical fruit strikes a perfect balance with the sweet meringue base. You can make large cake size meringue to cut up into slices or you can make bite sized meringue to make easy-to-eat and pass portions.

Method

Meringue:

3 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
parchment-lined baking sheet

Whisk the whites and sugars together in a bowl with a stand-mixer. Place the bowl over a small pot of boiling water and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot to the touch. Immediately bring the mixture back to the stand mixer and whip with the whisk attachment, until the meringue forms stiff peaks.

Pipe the meringue with a piping bag and a tip of your choice or spread it with a spoon or spatula onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 250 degree oven until completely dried out. If you are making them bite-sized, it will take about 45 min. For a larger cake size, allow up to 2.5 hours. You’ll know the meringue is ready when you can easily lift it off the parchment paper. I always like to poke the bottom in the middle to make sure it’s not soft or damp.  Once cooled completely, make sure you wrap the meringue in an air tight container until you are ready to build and serve the pavlova. Otherwise, the humidy in your kitchen can make the meringue get soggy and chewy!

Passion fruit caramel:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
a few drops of juice from squeezing half a lime
1/2 cup of passion fruit puree (if you want the caramel a little less tart, you can substitute a tablespoon of the passion fruit juice with orange juice). You can use either fresh passion fruit, that has been strained to remove seeds or a packaged passion fruit puree.

Combine the sugar, water and lime juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook the mixture over high heat until a light amber color — don’t go too dark or it will be bitter! Remove from heat, and immediately AND VERY CAREFULLY pour a little juice into the caramel. Whisk carefully.  Add a little more, and whisk again. Repeat until fully incorporated. *You must do this slowly and carefully as to not get burned! When you add cool juice to very hot caramel, it bubbles up and can splash you. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Whipped cream:

Cream
A little sugar
vanilla

Whip up the above ingredients until you have the consistency you would like. In the winter, I like to add pink guava puree to my whipped cream to add color and more fruit flavor. To do this, either blend up your own fruit and strain it to make a puree. Then whip your cream to soft peaks, add the puree, and taste to see if you need more sugar, and then continue whipping to desired consistency.

The pavolva is constructed like so: the base is the meringue, topped first with whipped cream, then covered with fruit (and maybe nuts!) and drizzled with passion fruit caramel. I love using sliced kiwi and fresh passion fruit seed. While passion fruit is still available, I like to make a large batch of the caramel and save it in the freezer so I can make these pavlovas with raspberries and toasted pistchios! Enjoy!

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