Easter Pavlova

I’m the first to admit it – desserts are NOT my forte. Since my family follows my blog and knows that I have an extreme passion for cooking, they figured they would challenge me to make a dessert for our Easter gathering. Needless to say, I was very initimated but rather intrigued.

I immediately googled “Easter desserts that even a child can make,” and Ina Garten’s Pavolva really caught my attention. I always feel confident in any recipe I get from her, because let’s face it, she is a goddess in the kitchen. I followed most of the recipe exactly, but I created my own fruit topping in lieu of the mixed berries.

Note: Although this recipe is super-simple, it takes almost 3 hours from start to finish so make sure you have ample time to bake…

Ingredients:

  • 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetened Cinnamon Whipped Cream, recipe follows
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
The Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won’t get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Place the sliced fruit in any pattern, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with fruit.

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