The fourth of July means that summer is in full swing (finally!). Growing up, my sister and I spent many summers at our family cabin splashing around in the lake, riding bikes and climbing trees.
On the fourth, the entire gaggle of family would join us at the cabin to play games, eat and laugh together around our big kitchen table. Oh, you wouldn’t believe the stories that were told around that table!
Mom always made an impressive dessert that could have doubled as a centerpiece. This Pavlova is totally up her alley.
Pavlova is a dessert common to New Zealand and Australia. It’s a deliciously sweet meringue with a crispy outside and a soft, light inside. To balance the sweetness, I’ve stacked it up with layers of lemon cream and topped it with lots of fresh and colorful berries, perfect for your fourth of July celebration.
The meringue, cream and berries can all be prepared up to a day ahead. Just be sure to assemble up to an hour before serving.
Red, White, and Blue Berry Pavlova
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 2 hours 10 minutes
6 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons corn starch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon Cream Filling
4 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Glaze and Fruit
1/2 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
Heat oven to 300ºF. Draw a 9-inch circle on two sheets of baking parchment paper, flip over and place on two baking pans.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Gradually add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in corn starch, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
Spoon and spread half of the egg white mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread toward the outside edge to leave a slight depression in the center. Repeat with remaining egg white mixture on second pan.
Bake 1 hour, or until dry to the touch. Turn oven off and leave the oven door slightly open. Let cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat whipping cream, lemon zest and lemon juice with hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup raspberries, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes. Strain out raspberry seeds with a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate to chill; about 20 minutes. Gently toss berries in the chilled raspberry glaze; set aside.
Assemble up to 1 hour before serving. Place 1 meringue layer on a serving platter, top with half of the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining meringue and whipped cream. Gently spoon berries on top of cream. Serve immediately.
Makes: 10 servings