I've been eating Pavlova for a while now and I had no idea that this delicious dessert was named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. Actually, now that I mention it, this dessert kind of looks like a little tutu, doesn't it? I guess we learn something new everyday.
If you are not familiar with this dessert, it's a crispy meringue with a marshmallow-like consistency in the inside. It's usually topped with whipped cream and berries or other fresh fruits. You can make this a one big Pavlova to share or make individual servings like I did.
One of the things that I love about it is that you can make everything ahead of time and it's very simple and fast to assemble and it looks fabulous. To me, this is ideal for summer parties.
I was inspired by the citrus season and went ahead and changed things a little bit. I made an orange cream, probably a bit more than what I needed for this recipe but it's so good you can eat it with so many other things like bread, cookies or even for breakfast with pancakes, croissants or brioche. I also made a very simple orange sauce and topped it with fresh kiwi.
4 cups orange juice
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil
and reduce to half. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
the zest of 3 oranges
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
12 tbsp butter
Combine all the ingredients (except butter) in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. Cook whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and mix on high speed. With the blender still running, add the butter, a couple of pieces at the time. When the butter is fully incorporated, let the cream blend for 5 minutes more. It should be light and silky. Let it come to room temperature and refrigerate for 1 hours before serving.
5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch, sifted
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, beat the egg whites and salt until frothy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Mix in the vanilla and vinegar and mix until glossy and thick. Using an spatula, lightly fold in the corn starch. Spoon the meringue into the sheet pan creating little nest with the back of the spoon. You will get about 9 4-inch meringues nest.
Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the meringues dry inside with the oven door closed for another hour. Don't peek! you'll let the heat out. Let it cool completely.
4 Kiwis, peeled and sliced
Spoon some orange cream in the center of the meringue, add kiwi and spoon orange sauce around the Pavlova. Serve immediately.