Sunday, February 17, 2008
I made these little plates of heaven this weekend. Individual pavlovas (one of Australia's national dishes) topped with whipped cream, srawberries and raspberries, sitting on some raspberry sauce. I really should have described it as "a raft of meringue, floating in a lagoon of raspberry sauce, topped with an umberella of whipped cream". Hahahah. Back in the day, I was at a restaurant that described one of their desserts that way, except their lagoon was made of chocolate.
It's all dead easy. The pavl0vas are great because you can make them a few days ahead, and you really should because they take 2 hours to bake and then sit in the oven for another four hours as the oven cools down, so it's a good idea to make them first thing in the morning. The pavlovas also keep really well for a few days in an airtight container.
The recipes for the pavlovas and the raspberry sauce are both from Ina Garten's Barefoot In Paris.
6 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 pints assorted berries (I used raspberries and strawberries)
For the Whipped Cream, I just whip up 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Preheat oven to 200 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchement paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachement, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pnch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high unti the egg whites form very stiff peaks. (I always add the sugar slowly). Whisk in the vanilla. Add the remaining 1/2cup of sugar into the meringue.
Ina uses a pastry bag and pipes her meringue onto the parchment paper. If you don't want to do that or you are totally incapable of getting stuff into a pastry bag like I am, you can just spoon the meringe into as round a shape as you can get it, or put it in a ziploc bag and snip off one of the corners and use that as a makeshift pastry bag. I used that method and it worked pretty well for me. It is supposed to be like a shell, with a hole in the middle for the cream. I can't get mine like that, so I just pile it all on top, and it still looks and tastes fine. You should be able to get about 8 mini pavolovas from this mixture.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringes are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringes to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
To serve: fill the meringe, or pile on top! whipped cream, berries, and sit the pavlova in the raspberry sauce.
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (I did not have this liqueur, and I didn't want to buy a whole bottle for this recipe, so I used vodka instead and it came out fine. You could probably not even use a liqueur, you'd never know the difference)
Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam and the famboise into the bowl of a food procesor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.