Summer Fruit Pavlova- The Perfect Marriage of Fresh and Delicate, Rich and Decadent

Pavlova isn't very American. In fact, I'm quite certain I've never seen it served here in the US. But in England it's a very popular dessert and I think we deserve to enjoy this gorgeous fruity, sweet, rich (yet strangely light) and decadent dessert, too. It's really simple to make, very versatile and incredibly pretty.  And did I mention delicious? I'm just yearning for a party, a holiday,  or some special occasion so that I can say, "I'll make dessert!" and then bask in the accolades. 

Pavlova serves 6–8

6 egg whites

Heat your oven to 110C/230F. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until glossy.

About halfway through adding the sugar, stir the cornstarch, cream of tartar and salt into the sugar, then continue adding to the egg white mixture. Beat for a further 10 minutes after all the sugar has been added.

The whole process should take about 15–20 minutes, and you should not be able to feel any grains of sugar when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper and spread the meringue on the baking paper in a rough cake shape. If you keep adding meringue to the centre and pushing it down, the pavlova will form an attractive natural edge.

Place in the oven and bake for 90 minutes, then turn off the oven, allowing the pavlova to cool without opening the door for at least three hours, but overnight is best.

Next, whip your heavy whipping cream to soft peaks and gently fold in yoghurt or several spoonfuls of lemon or citrus curd. Taste and adjust, trust yourself. When it tastes good to you, it tastes good!1½ cups (330g)  sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

¼ tsp cream of tartar

a pinch of salt

300ml (1 1/4 cup) heavy whipping cream

½ tsp natural vanilla extract

150g (2/3 cups) thick coconut yoghurt or lemon curd

An assortment of fresh fruit. I love blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries- peaches would be gorgeous, too. Try tossing the fruit in a bowl with a bit of sugar and cointreau and letting it stew for an hour or two. 

Okay, so first things first- time to make a meringue, but not actually a meringue. What we are going to make is like a meringue but a bit more squidgy in the center, a bit more marshmallow-like. And of course, you're probably asking what the heck is a meringue? Again, meringues are much more popular in the UK, but it's not fair that we don't enjoy these more. So, here we go...

Whipping up the egg whites in your stand mixer is a breeze.

The baked and cooled meringue; it's best to leave it cooling overnight in the oven. 

You can flavor the whipped cream with lemon or citrus curd,  yogurt, or not at all.

Gently fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream.

Summer berries, tossed in a bit of sugar, with or without a bit of cointreau- lovely.

 Cointreau syrup Anja made last winter; it tasted great on the summer berries.

Spread your flavored whipped cream over the meringue, and top with berries.

Different, delicious, decadent; I promise you will love this. 

The crazy thing about this dessert is that the wow factor is out of this world. This is the perfect marriage of fresh and delicate, rich and decadent. And if you're in the States, this dessert will be something different, something new, something sure to impress!