Pavlova is such a lovely play on texture and flavor, and when done well, is not cloyingly sweet. Here’s a recipe for how to make pavlova at home, and it’s the right amount to make pavlova for two people. Yum!
A few years ago, I went on a work trip to Australia, and I was asking my coworkers what was a uniquely Australian food. “Pavlova,” they said. Really?! Pavlova? OK. I found out that “The elegant Pavlova Cake (or pie) consists of a base made of a meringue crust topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits such as kiwis, strawberries, etc. In Australia, it is considered a fresh fruit pie with a meringue crust.” While pavlova is considered a national dish in Australia, research conducted by Dr Andrew Paul Wood, a New Zealander, and Annabelle Utrecht, an Australian, found that “the origins of the modern pavlova can be traced back to Germany, where it began life as a German torte. It was later brought to America where it evolved into its final form, and then later brought to Australia.”
Also, you know how Aussies shorten everything? They call pavlova “the pav.” LOLLLLL
The Pav (still can’t get over that) is popular on Christmas Day as a dessert, and usually served after being refrigerated (due to Christmas being celebrated during the summer in the southern hemisphere). Since there are only two of us in my household, I found a recipe on Martha Stewart and scaled it down so we could have pavlova for two. Here’s a way you can make pavlova for two and enjoy it at a date night in!! You’re basically making meringue, whipping air into egg whites until they are glossy like so, then baking them at a really low and slow temperature in order to dehydrate the meringue.
You then put whipped cream on top of the cooled, crunchy meringue, and top with any fruit you like. Voila!Print
pavlova for two!
- 2 large egg whites
- 125 grams of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, divided
- 1 cup of strawberries, hulled and sliced
- optional: 5 mint leaves, chiffonaded and a little bit of very nice balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 250F with racks in the upper and lower third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium-high speed until soft, glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat meringue on high until stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla; mix a few more times to combine.
- Using a soup ladle, divide the whipped egg white mixture in half and spoon into a circle. Using the back of the ladle, make a little well in the middle.
- Transfer baking sheets to oven. Bake until firm and dry to the touch but not browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off oven and let meringues cool in the oven for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Whip the cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Stir the other tablespoon of powdered sugar with the sliced strawberries and let them macerate for 10 minutes.
- Top meringues with a dollop of whipped cream and a spoonful of berries. Sprinkle with mint and drizzle with nice balsamic.
Leftover decorated pavlova can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert will absorb moisture and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can be left overnight in the oven, or for several days in an airtight container, to be decorated when ready.