Try out this delectable meringue dessert named in honor of a legendary Russian ballerina.Victoria Drey
This confectionary creation was inspired by the beauty and grace of Russia’s greatest ballerina, Anna Pavlova, in the 1920s.
A scrumptious mix of meringue, whipped cream and berries – traditionally, ‘Pavlova’ is considered a summer dessert. It goes perfectly with fresh strawberry, cherry and raspberry, which is the classic variation. I don’t want to wait, however, for next summer to enjoy one of my favorite sweet treats – so why not add other seasonal fruits and berries?
With kiwi, persimmon, bananas, pomegranate, citrus curd and figs, there are literally dozens of seasonal variations for Pavlova filling. Today I use a mix of sea buckthorn and cowberry, but feel free to add any berries you like.
The same goes with the shape. Originally, Pavlova was served as a big cake or small baby-cakes. But it doesn’t mean you can’t shape it into literally anything: from a romantic heart-dessert to a show-stopping wreath which is best for the Christmas feast.
What I also love about this dessert is that you can make the meringue and berry filling in advance. And then spend 10 minutes whipping the cream and assembling the cake right before serving. It’s one of the most guest-friendly desserts ever. So prepare the ingredients, turn on “Jingle Bells” and start cooking!
1. Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl until you get stiff peaks. I recommend degreasing it and mixing the whisks with a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar before cooking to get the proper meringue texture.
2. Gradually add castor sugar, lemon juice and whisk for about 5-7 minutes until you get the iconic glossy and steady meringue texture. Add cornstarch, stir with a mixer or a spatula.
3. Next, prepare a baking tray covered with a sheet of parchment. As we want to get a nice wreath shape, draw a pattern with a pen on paper. Pipe the wreath using a piping bag with any nozzle of your choice or tablespoon.
4. I recommend making a sort of opening in the middle of the wreath because this will make it much easier to spread the filling over the surface.
5. Bake the meringue at 120°C for 70 minutes; leave in the turned-off oven for another hour and then let cool completely at room temperature.
6. Now move to the filling. Let’s start with the berry part. Put the frozen sea buckthorn with 50 g of sugar into a pot and cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time.
7. Place it into a cup, then slightly work with a blender for a smoother texture, and cool completely. You’ll notice how the berry mixture becomes thicker while cooling.
8. Repeat the process with cowberry or any berry you like.
9. Here we have our two scrumptious berry bases for Pavlova’s filling.
10. The last step is whipping the heavy cream until you get soft peaks. I don’t add sugar here because meringues and berry fillings are already sweet enough. Here’s another secret – if you want a more stable filling with a richer taste, add half of a slab of cream cheese or mascarpone into the cream base.
11. Now, make sure that everything is cooled completely and let’s move to assembling the wreath! First, spread half of the berry filling. I alternate cowberry and sea buckthorn tablespoon by tablespoon.
12. Then spoon or pipe the whipped cream, and finish with the rest of the berry fillings. Finally, sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and decorate to your liking.
13. Make some fresh coffee, serve Pavlova Wreath and enjoy the Christmas spirit – priyatnogo appetita!
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