Pavlova is a show-stopping meringue dessert and it’s easier than you think. It is made of egg whites, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Once baked, a crisp exterior forms around the soft centers. To serve, pavlovas are topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream and studded with plenty of fresh berries. The main difference between Meringue and Pavlova are the ingredients. While Pavlova is a Meringue based dessert, you have to add vinegar and cornflour to the basic ingredients of Meringue which are egg whites and sugar to achieve a marshmallow interior.
Heating the sugar before beating it into the egg whites creates an extra-glossy, stable meringue.
1¼ cups sugar
6 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or pistachios, and/or 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
¼ cup sugar
36 ounces raspberries and/or blackberries (about 6 cups), divided
1¼ cups Farmer's All Natural heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°. Scatter sugar in a shallow baking dish and bake 10 minutes. After 8 minutes, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until foamy.
Remove sugar from oven and decrease temperature to 200°. With the mixer running, gradually stream sugar into egg whites. Add salt and beat until stiff peaks form and bowl is barely warm to the touch. (Heads up: This can take as much as 10 minutes with a stand mixer and up to 20 minutes with a handheld mixer.) Scrape in vanilla seeds, reserve pod for another use, and beat just to combine.
Scoop large spoonfuls of meringue onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets to make 12 mounds. Make a slight indentation in the center of each mound with the back of the spoon, pushing out to create 3"-diameter rounds. Top the border of meringues with nuts and/or poppy seeds, as desired.
Bake meringues until dry and firm, about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Turn off oven and use a wooden spoon to prop door ajar. Let meringues cool completely in oven.
Do Ahead: Meringues can be made 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
Combine sugar and 2 cups berries in a medium bowl and mash together with a fork until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bright in color and pourable.
Whisk cream in a medium bowl to medium peaks. Spoon whipped cream into centers of meringues, top with remaining berries, then drizzle with sauce.
Do Ahead: Berry sauce can be made 4 hours ahead. Store tightly covered at room temperature.
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