Summer Berry Pavlova
What may seem intimidating at first is really quite simple and the result yeilds one of my favorite treats. Crispy meringue with a delicately chewy center, fresh cream and a mess of sweet juicy fresh summer berries. It’s a magical combination of flavor and texture! Each is amazing on its own- the crispy sweet meringue, the dreamy raspberry cream and the sweet, juicy and deeply flavorful rich blackberries will delight. I’ve partnered with The Feedfeed and Driscoll’s Berries to highlight these little treasures!
Driscoll’s blackberries are sun ripened and exceptionally juicy with the perfect balance of acid and sweet and they’re sourced from independent organic farmers committed to nurturing farm land.
Driscoll’s Berries are fresh plump and juicy!
The egg whites need to be at room temperature, but you may separate them from the yolks while still chilled, this makes it easier and the yolks are less likely to break. You do not want ANY yolk to mix in with the whites.
Do not open the oven door, and really allow the meringue to cool in the oven completely. The more patient I have been, the less likely the meringue is to collapse (again, if it does, load it up with the cream and berries). I like to make these in the evening and allow them to cool overnight. Or make them in the morning, so when I return in the evening they’re ready to go
When it’s hot and humid, meringue can be very temperamental. If you have access to an air conditioned kitchen, use it.
If you over whip the cream, add a few additional tablespoons of fresh cream and lower mixing speed until a smooth consistency returns. As the meringue is quite sweet, I add very little sugar (confectioners sugar) when whipping the cream, maybe a tablespoon or two along with a touch of vanilla. Make sure the cream is thoroughly chilled before whipping (a metal bowl is preferable).
I like to make a small meringue, off to the side, with the last scrapings from the bowl to crush up and use as a bit of topping. What doesn’t get crumbled, I eat!
Summer Berry Pavlova
4 egg whites, room temp.
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups sugar, superfine preferable
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw an 6” diameter circle and flip over, so line is face side down, to avoid contact with meringue.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine egg whites and salt and beat on low, very gradually increasing to high speed. Continue until satiny peaks begin to form then beat in sugar a tablespoon at a time until meringue is stiff and shiny. When you turn the whisk attachment up, the peaks should be stiff and not weepy.
Using a sieve, sprinkle in cornstarch, add vinegar and vanilla and fold in gently.
Mound into parchment and form into a mound shape using the drawn circle as a guide. I like to create a very shallow well in the middle to hold the topping. This area may collapse. This is fine as you will be filling it with cream.
Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 225F and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you notice any spots beginning to turn golden brown, rotate pan. Turn off heat and allow to cool completely while remaining in the oven. Do not open the oven. Do not.
Top with whipped cream and fresh berries.
If you would like to add a layer of raspberry whipped cream: when cream is whipped, divide in half, add 2 Tbs confecosugar and 1/2 pint raspberries. Beat until fully combined on medium high speed.
Berries should be plump sweet and juicy. (I shot this on a warm and humid day, so there’s a touch of condensation I wasn’t able to keep ahead of!)
Reserve egg yolks for another use (they may be frozen in an airtight container)- frangipane, aioli... you may also cure them!
Using a sieve when adding the cornstarch prevents clumping and facilitates better distribution.
Peaks should be stiff.
Turn meringue out into prepared parchment and smooth into a dome shape. It is a little sticky and messy, but will come together.
these I baked once formed into a dome. If you like, you make pattern it before baking.
I love piling on as many berries as possible! Finished product may vary in shape and size according to your preference. Here I created a pattern inspired by Zoebakes.com.
You may also make minis!