Discover morsels of delight in Bite-Size Desserts: Creating Mini Sweet Treats, From Cupcakes and Cobblers to Custards and Cookies by Carole Bloom, including recipes for Raspberry, Ginger and Honey Shortcakes; Pavlovas with Passion Fruit Sauce; and Mascarpone Raspberry Parfaits.
Makes 2-1/2 dozen pavlovas
Pavlova is a light, crisp meringue shell filled with whipped cream and topped with tropical fruit. I choose to pair it with a passion fruit sauce to accent its tropical nature. This classic dessert was created to honor the visit to Australia of Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian prima ballerina, in 1926 (see Pavlova note below). The meringue shells can be made several days in advance of assembling the dessert, which makes it easy to fit into a busy life. Your guests will be very appreciative that you did. Passion fruit concentrate for the sauce is available through Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Their web site is www.perfectpuree.com.
Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Using a 1-1/2-inch round plain cutter or a glass as a guide, trace 30 circles onto the dull side of the foil with a pencil, then tum the foil over on the baking sheets.
Whip together the egg whites and cream of tartar in a grease-free bowl of an electric stand mixer with the wire whip attachment or in a large grease-free mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer on medium speed until frothy. Slowly sprinkle on 1/2 cup of sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they hold firm peaks, about 3 minutes. Tum the mixer speed to low and sprinkle on the comstarch. Blend together well, then thoroughly fold in the white vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.
Fit a 12- or 14-inch pastry bag with a 1/2-inch-diameter plain tip and fill the bag partway with the meringue mixture. Using the traced circles as a guide, pipe out 2-inch round mounds. Dampen the back of a spoon and push the center of the meringue toward the outer edges so they are a httle thicker than the center, creating a shallow bowl.
Place the baking sheets in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F, and dry the meringues for 1-1/2 hours. Tum off the oven, prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon, and leave the meringues in the oven until they are cool.
Remove the bakmg sheets from the oven and carefully peel the foil off the back of the meringues. Place the meringues on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper.
Whip the cream in a chilled bowl of an electric stand mixer with a chilled wire whip attachment or in a chilled large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer on medium speed until it thickens. Gradually sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of sugar, then beat in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.
Fit another 12- or 14-inch pastry bag with a large open star tip and fill the bag partway with the whipped cream. Pipe the cream in a circle into the center cavity and to the outer edges of each meringue mound. Arrange the fruit attractively over the cream.
Passion Fruit Sauce
Bring the passion fruit concentrate and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and reduce to half the original amount. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and blend thoroughly.
To serve, place a pavlova on a plate and drizzle the sauce around it.
Although the pavlovas are best eaten the day they are made, they can last up to 2 days. Store them, loosely covered with waxed paper and then tightly wrapped with aluminum foil, in the refrigerator.
The meringues can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store them at room temperature, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil to protect them from moisture, which will make them soft.
An argument dating back generations between Australia and New Zealand over which of them invented the pavlova appears to have finally been settled—by the Oxford English Dictionary.
By Paul Chapman, The Telegraph (telegraph.co.uk), Dec 2010
Both countries regard the sweet meringue-based, cream and fruit topped dish as their "national" dessert, but the identity of its creator is a source of intense dispute.
The only thing both sides have been able to agree on is that it was named in honour of the Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, who caused a sensation when she toured both countries in the 1920s.
Now the Oxford English Dictionary online edition, which has just been relaunched a decade after it first appeared, comes down squarely on New Zealand's side. The first recorded pavlova recipe appeared in New Zealand in 1927 in "Davis Dainty Dishes".
Full article: New Zealand Wins Pavlova Debate
This page created June 2009
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