Recipe from Chef Suvir Saran’s Indian Home Cooking
Pavlova is a lovely, light dessert that seems to be popular everywhere except for the United States. This is a pity, since they are so simple to make. During a dinner with friends Paul and Kate Farmer in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Paul quickly and confidently prepared Pavlovas for dessert while he was preparing our main courses. He made his meringues with balsamic vinegar, which instantly added an earthy depth to the berries. The crispness of the meringue against the intensity of the fruit and richness of the spiked cream is stunning.
If you prefer, you can make one large Pavlova instead of individual ones. Shape with a depression in its center and follow with the same baking instructions, noting that you may need to bake for a little longer than described below.
For the meringue:
• 4 large egg whites
• 1 cup superfine sugar
• 2 tsps balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp cornstarch
For the cream:
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 tbsps confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tbsp
Cointreau For the fruit:
• 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 2 pints raspberries
• 1 pint blueberries
• 1 pint blackberries
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/3 tsp cracked peppercorns
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tangerine, zested and juiced
• Heat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
• Using a standing mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the superfine sugar and vinegar until soft peaks form. Sift the cornstarch over the whites and gently fold the two together with a rubber spatula.
• Spoon the meringue mixture onto the prepared baking sheet making eight equal dollops. Using a circular motion, flatten the dollops into one inch thick discs with the back of a spoon. Bake the meringues for two hours. Turn the oven off and let the meringues sit in the oven for another hour.
• Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the meringues to room temperature. (If you don’t plan on serving the meringues within a few hours, once cool, place them in an airtight container for up to three days.)
• While the meringues bake, make the berry mixture. Place the berries, sugar, cracked pepper, cayenne, and tangerine juice in a large bowl and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one and up to four hours.
• Using a standing mixer or a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, Cointreau and tangerine zest until stiff peaks form. Place the meringues on a platter or on individual plates. Spread each with cream and top with all but one cup of the macerated berries, and cover with more cream. Place some of the remaining berries on each plate and serve.
Note: You can also use fresh strawberries and passion fruit for garnish.
Photo: Daesha Devon Harris