pavlova – crispy on the outside l billowy on the inside

Pavlova is a dessert popular my house. The girls loved it growing up and have since started to bake it in their own kitchens. Sara called me last weekend and said, “Mom there’s something wrong with your pavlova recipe. I’ve made it three times and it hasn’t worked.” I love that she knew it had to be the recipe and not her. She was right! The oven temperature was too high. I shared this recipe eight years ago but nobody ever mentioned my mistake. I’m soooo sorry. My pavlova recipe is chewy-crisp on top, soft and marshmallowy inside, and crispy around the edges.

Pavlova is the perfect dessert to celebrate every seasons fruit with piles of whipped cream. An added bonus is that it’s gluten-free.

My family has both enjoyed and suffered my culinary journey. Their suffering has become the stuff of legends. Whenever, something does not taste good I work on it until I get it right. I never assume that it is the recipe’s fault.

When the girls were nine years old, I experimented with tofu. For several months, I worked on every possible combination of ingredients trying to create something delicious from soybean curd.

Week after week, our suppers consisted of tofu combined with all manner of vegetable and herb combinations. My normally boisterous dinner table was glum but dutiful. Ralph and the girls would eat in silence, smile politely when finished and spend the rest of the evening trying to digest their meal.

I would prattle on about how nutritious tofu was and “isn’t it interesting how it takes on the flavour of whatever it is combined with?”

After weeks of silence, Kaitie lost it! She slammed her little hands on the table, burst into tears and said, “it sucks!”

Ralph’s grateful admiration for her courage and her sister’s resounding squeal of agreement has become one of our family’s most beloved ‘the things Mom made us eat’ stories.

The tofu experiments ended with me trying to ingratiate myself back into their appetites with a Pavlova peace-offering.

It worked like a charm!

 

I prepared Pavlova at the restaurant for the first time last week. My recipe is crunchy on the outside but billowy and soft on the inside – a perfect Italian meringue. Our customers are loving it as much as my family. I could not ask for more!

Pavlova – serves 8

  • 1 cup egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven 225*F convection setting or 250*F regular oven
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with baking spray
  3. Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
  4. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl
  5. Gradually beat in sugar/cornstarch mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, beat until mixture is billowy with a beautiful sheen.
  6.  Beat in vinegar and vanilla
  7. Spread out on baking sheet making a 12 x 12 square or circle – batter should be 2″ high. Make sure you give yourself a higher border around the whole pavlova.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes
  9. Cool completely and serve with whipped cream and your favorite fruit.

THE LOVE: Make sure that your eggs whites are at room temperature so you can get the most volume from them when you beat them.

Thanks for reading.