January 26th is Australia Day, which was good enough reason for me to make Pavlova, a truly Australian dessert. It is one of my FAVOURITE desserts and people would make it for us all the time when I lived Down Unda'. I realized this morning that I never actually posted the recipe, so here it is!
I remember my uncle trying to make Pavlova at our home when I was younger, and telling me how hard it was to make. I had been home from Australia for probably a year when I finally decided that it really couldn't be that hard to make. And guess what, its not! It only has 4 ingredients (other than the topping), and you just have to make sure you whip it long enough, and cook it long enough.
I have made large Pav's, as well as small individual Pav's. I actually prefer to make the smaller ones these days. I find they are easier to serve, as well as decorate. There are lots of different recipe's online, but this is the one I have used for years & it has never failed me. Australian's use a much finer sugar called castor sugar, but its harder to find in the states (and expensive!), so I just use regular sugar... that's where "whipping it long enough" comes into play.
I forgot to take a picture of these before I served them to my young women, so sorry this isn't such a great picture. I almost always try to put some kind of red fruit on them, but strawberries and raspberries were just too pricey in the middle of January. If these had been for a special occasion, I might have splurged.
4 Large Egg Whites
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 TBSP. Cornstarch
1 tsp. White Vinegar
Fresh Whipping Cream, whipped with a small amount of Vanilla & Powdered Sugar
Fresh Fruit, (washed & sliced) such as:
Banana's (not my cup o' tea!)
(berry varieties are good... an apple would be pretty nasty!)
Whip egg whites in electric mixer on medium-high speed, until soft peaks form. Start adding sugar about a tablespoon at a time, continuing to whip, until meringue forms stiff peaks.
Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar over the meringue and gently fold in with a rubber spatula.
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, and either make one very large circle with the meringue, or make small individual ones. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center... you want a slight well in the center of the Pavlova so you can fill it with cream and fruit.
Pre heat oven to 250 degrees. For large Pav, bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes. For individual Pav's bake about 40 minutes.
You will notice that as the Pavlova is cooling, it will start to slightly crack. That's normal, and ok because you will top it with the fresh fruit and cream. Make sure they are completely cooled before adding toppings. Decorate, Eat... and enjoy.