Pavlova!

I think I can safely say that I make no other dessert that consistently knocks people out of their chairs like pavlova. While it certainly looks lovely, there is something innocuous about it sitting on the plate…just this white puff with some yogurt and berries. Nothing special, right? W-R-O-N-G. It’s crunchy on the outside and melt in your mouth fluffy on the inside, a heavenly pillow of dessert. AND you can make it in advance. AND it is secretly the best breakfast ever.  Just trust me on this one, ok? 

Makes 1 medium “cake” or 6 individual “cakes”

4 large egg whites

1 cup superfine sugar

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw multiple 3-4 inch circles on the paper. I usually end up with 6-7, but draw 8 just in case. They don’t spread in the oven, so you can fit quite a few on one sheet. If it does take two pans, make sure your pans both fit in the oven before you start cooking. No harm in over lapping them a bit.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, OR using a hand-held mixer with both beaters and a large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold very soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. It’s hard to over-beat meringue, so if you’re not sure, give it another minute.
  3. Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and fold in with a rubber spatula,.
  4. Gently scoop and spread the meringue inside the circles drawn on the parchment paper. They should be nice, high mounds, 2-2.5 inches high. With a spoon, swirl the middle slightly to create a small well in the center. This will hold your yogurt or whipped cream.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven (about 1 hour). The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you may get a little cracking.
  6. Serve with whipped cream (sweetened and with vanilla) or Greek yogurt (sweetened and with almond) and top with diced berries and fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, kiwis, blackberries, etc.)

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