Pavlova Two Ways: Vanilla-Scented Strawberry and Raspberry Compote with Crushed Pistachios

by Michael on April 30, 2011 · 18 comments

It’s amazing how long a regular work weeks feels following a week cut short from a holiday. The standard five day work week, normally so ingrained in all of us that our internal clock goes off at 5pm sharp on Fridays, feels instead like an eternity. By the time I pull in my driveway Friday night, I feel like raising the flag and surrendering.

Thank goodness for weekends.

Saturday is the exact opposite of the week that just ended. I turn the page and it’s a new chapter. It starts off quiet and relaxed and without the noise associated with weekdays. The birds outside sing a familiar refrain as I open my eyes, take a deep breath and erase all memories of the week that was. I sink back into my pillow, roll on my side and stare at the morning sunshine just over the trees behind our house.

When my foot hits the floor out of bed, it’s like walking into a new beginning. And, in a way, that’s exactly what it is. My stomach immediately flips the switch and starts thinking about food. And until I satisfy those cravings, the reminders come fast and hard as if my stomach has a snooze button.

Before even thinking about breakfast, I’m thinking about a sweet treat for the afternoon. Maybe I dreamt about pavlovas or maybe it’s my sweet tooth prodding my mind while I sleep. Either way, that sweet surrender is something I need so I start prepping the meringue as the morning coffee rolls through the stages.

I shape the meringue add the finished mounds to the oven and wait. Patience is not one of my strong suits, but when the payoff is as big as this one it forces me to relax. Within an hour of waking I’m in tune with the pace of the weekend.

When the time comes for us to eat these, I call my wife with the excitement normally reserved for children on Christmas day. I spoon in all that goodness to the recessed centre and close my eyes as my mouth quickly resembles Niagara Falls.

The first bite locks you in. Any residual stress from the week is gone before it leaves the spoon. There’s a moment of quiet hysteria in my mind as I try and race to the finish, all the while trying to slow down the process to enjoy it. It’s a game I’m not going to win.
The soft meringue is fantastic with the fruit and sauce and the added texture from the pistachios. One is sweet heaven, the other balances the line of sweet and salty perfectly, similar to a tightrope walker.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
The Goods:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet. Turn a plate upside down and draw an outline around the plate with a pencil.
  2. Use a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl. Add the egg whites in and whip on high speed until they form stiff speaks.
  3. Slowly add in the sugar a bit at a time, all the while whipping. Once the sugar is fully incorporated it should be stiff and glossy. Fold in the cornstarch and vinegar and lemon juice and whip on high for 4 more minutes.
  4. Spoon the meringue mixture into the circles and smooth out. Make sure the sides are higher than the middle.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and drop the heat to 225 degrees and cook for a further hour, or until it looks slightly brown and stiff. Turn off the heat and let cool in the oven for a couple of hours.
  6. Peel back the parchment paper and serve the pavlovas with your desired filling.
Vanilla-Scented Strawberries
The Goods:
  • 500 grams strawberries, hulled and halves
  • 3 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  1. Add half of the strawberries to a blender with the icing sugar and vanilla. Puree until smooth. Push through a fine sieve and reserve.
  2. Add the whipped cream to the centre of the pavlova and top with the remaining strawberries. Top with the strawberry sauce and serve.
Raspberry Compote with Crushed Pistachios
The Goods:
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. pistachios, roughly chopped
  1. Stir the sugar and cornstarch and half the raspberries into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in the lemon juice and stir occasionally while bringing to a simmer. Once in a full simmer, remove from heat and add the rest of the raspberries in.
  2. Serve the pavlovas with the cream and raspberry compote on top. Add the crushed pistachios over that.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter April 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm
A Thought For Food May 1, 2011 at 6:19 am
sliceofmylyfe May 1, 2011 at 7:17 am
Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} May 1, 2011 at 8:50 am
spiceblogger May 1, 2011 at 9:08 am
SMITH BITES May 1, 2011 at 9:31 am
Lizzy May 1, 2011 at 10:19 am
Michael Lewicki May 1, 2011 at 10:34 am
Wilde in the Kitchen May 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm
Maria May 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm
Peggy May 2, 2011 at 4:47 am
Carolyn May 2, 2011 at 6:18 am
Sippity Sup May 2, 2011 at 10:29 am
Kate@Diethood May 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm
knitstamatic May 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm
Inga´s Haven May 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm
Katie @ This Chick Cooks May 4, 2011 at 11:53 am
beth May 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm

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