Crushed Raspberry and Strawberry Pavlova

crushed raspberry and strawberry pavlova | apt 2b baking co

We are still in a bit of an in between produce season, but the weather is warming up and the sun is out so I am craving fresh fruit desserts like it’s my job. I guess it kind of is my job…I love to make desserts like this pavlova because it is fairly low lift and aside from a low, slow bake in the oven for the meringue (which you can make the day before if it’s not too humid where you live) everything comes together in a few minutes.

The tart crushed raspberries provide some nice sauciness here and contrast well with sweet strawberries and the crisp, pillowy meringue. Make sure to use the best strawberries you can find for this dessert, and adjust the sugar to your personal tastes. In NYC we get some really nice organic berries from California but they are $$ so you may just want to bookmark this until they are in season locally where you live. The mini mint leaves are also totally optional, but they do add a nice freshness and beautiful pop of contrasting color.


Crushed Raspberry and Strawberry Pavlova

Crisp and chewy meringue, pillowy whipped cream, and sweet-tart berries are combined to make this super springy, and fairly simple dessert. Assemble just before serving for the best textural experience as the meringue will weep and melt as it sits.

Meringue

4 large egg whites

1 cup (200g) superfine sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Berries

1 pound of the best strawberries you can find

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

pinch salt

To Serve

1 cup (240ml) heavy cream 

1 tablespoon sugar

mint leaves

To make the meringue: Preheat the oven to 250ºF (130ºC/Gas Mark 1/2). Trace an 8-inch (20cm) circle onto a piece of parchment paper and flip it upside down on a baking sheet.

Stir the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a handheld electric mixer in a large bowl, beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar mixture about one tablespoon at a time until you have added all of the sugar and the egg whites are stiff and glossy about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar and mix for 30 more seconds.

Dollop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges of the traced circle. Make a shallow indent in the center of the meringue which will hold all of the delicious toppings. Bake the meringue for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the outside looks dry and slightly creamy in color. Turn off the oven and prop the door ajar with a wooden spoon. Let the meringue cool completely in the oven. It should feel firm and crackly when you press it, but will be soft and marshmallowy in the center. When cooled, you should be able to gently peel it off of the parchment paper and place it on a serving platter or cake stand.  

To make the topping: Slice the strawberries in half if they are small, quarters if they are large. Combine the raspberries, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and crush the berries with a fork. Gently stir in the strawberries and let the fruit macerate for a few minutes. Taste and add a bit more sugar if desired, keeping in mind that the meringue will be quite sweet.

Whip the cream and sugar together to soft peaks. Top the cooled meringue with the whipped heavy cream, followed by the berries. Sprinkle mint leaves over the top and serve immediately.

Pavlova with Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate

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pavlova with pink grapefruit and pomegranate (yossy arefi)

Most folks might associate pavlova with a big pile of summer berries, but they are just as nice with a citrusy kick instead. For this wintery pavlova I topped crisp and chewy pillows of meringue with Tartine Bakery's perfect lemon cream which is a sweet, tart, and buttery-rich riff on lemon curd. The whole thing is adorned with juicy slices of pink grapefruit and tart pomegranate arils. Llight and refreshing to the max.

A few things

- I recently updated my portfolio site, I'd love if you all took a look: yossyarefi.com 

- If you love meyer lemons and grapefruit too, check out this killer bundt cake recipe.

- I made some meyer lemon eclairs for Food52 last week. Check them out here.

- Thanks for all of your kind words on my last post!

Pavlovas with Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate

yield 6-8 individual or 1 large pavlova

In the photos above I made 6 6-inch "individual" pavlovas. This dessert is quite light and most people would probably be able to finish a pavlova that size, but for more modest dessert eaters try making 8 (or even 10) individual meringues. If you can't find meyer lemons for this recipe, go ahead and use regular lemons and if you can't find pink grapefruit, any sweet citrus fruit would be just great. I originally intended to make this with blood oranges, but couldn't find any. Also, 

 make sure to use room temperature egg whites and a very clean bowl and beaters.

Pavlova

4 large egg whites, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 220º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat

1. Whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium speed until the egg whites are quite foamy. Turn the mixer up to high and very slowly add the sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.

2. Divide the meringue into 6-8 even dollops at least 2 inches apart and with the back of a spoon gently shape them into circles with indentations in the center (to hold all of the yummy filling). Alternately, spread the whole amount of meringue into one large circle about 10-inches wide.

3. Bake the meringue until it is crisp on the outside and set, 60-80 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the door open, then cool the pavlova completely in the oven completely.

Meyer Lemon Cream

adapted from Tartine Bakery's Lemon Cream

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons meyer lemon juice

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup sugar

pinch salt

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1.  Pour about 2 inches of water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat

2. Combine the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely over the water without coming into contact with the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Remove the bowl from over the water and let the mixture cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.

4. Meanwhile, cut butter into tablespoon-sized pieces. When the cream is cooled transfer it to a blender and with the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will be pale yellow and opaque and quite thick.

Chill the lemon cream completely, then in a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream. Fold the half of the whipped cream (reserve the other half for garnish if desired) 

into the lemon cream and chill until ready to fill the pavlova.

To Serve

Supremed segments of 2-3 pink grapefruit (depending on size) arils from one pomegranate.

Stir the lemon cream to loosen. Fill each pavlova with a few generous spoonfuls of cream then top with grapefruit segments and pomegranate arils. Garnish with reserved whipped cream if desired. Enjoy immediately.