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.

Red Fruit Galettes

red fruits tart
red fruits tart
red fruits tart

I know it's coming to a close, but here's a hot tip for summer: keep a batch of pie crust in your fridge or freezer at all times. Then, when you spot some pretty fruit at the farmer's market, you'll always have something to tuck it into at the ready.

Just about the easiest thing you can make with fruit and pie crust is a galette. Galettes are casual open faced tarts and their charm is in their imperfections. It's okay if the fruit leaks all over the baking sheet and there is no futzy crust crimping for the folks who find that part of pie making frustrating. I even know someone who likes to make them at 3AM after a night of drinking, so you know they are easy.

These particular galettes were born when I had lots of little bits of different fruits left over from another project and I used roughly equal amounts of sour cherries, red currants and raspberries. This particular combination of red fruits turned out visually stunning and totally delicious, but don't feel limited by these fruits! You can make a galette with just about any fruit you have hanging around.

This is more of a formula and a process than a recipe that needs to be followed to the letter so feel free to swap the crust or the fruit or the jam for anything you like. And it's the best kind of recipe to have in your back pocket for all those times when you just need dessert last minute. Get invited to dinner? Galette. Going to a picnic or barbecue or rooftop party? Galette. Celebrating a birthday? Galette. Tuesday? Galette.

Happy Summer!

Red Fruits Galettes
yield 2, 9-inch galettes

Feel free to swap out my pie crust for your favorite recipe, but please make sure to bake the galettes until they are deeply golden brown and caramelized. Say no to soggy crust!

Crust

12 ounces all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
9 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces ice cold water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in half of the butter until it is the size of peas, then cut in the other half until it is the size lima beans. Some of the butter will be completely worked into the flour, but you should have lots of visible pieces of butter in the dough too. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to mix the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart. Press the dough together, then split it in half, form into discs and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.

Filling

about 2 pounds of assorted red fruits (raspberries, cherries, sour cherries, sweet cherries, currants, etc)
1 3/4-2 3/4 ounces granulated sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit (for example: currants will need more, sweet cherries less)
4 ounces apricot, raspberry or strawberry jam
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch salt
1 tablespoon flour (only if the fruit seems very juicy)

1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt for egg wash
1 3/4 ounce crunchy sugar like demerara or turbinado for sprinkling

Work with one piece of dough at a time and on a floured surface, roll the dough into a roughly 13'' circle, 1/4-1/8'' thick. Transfer the rounds to two large, parchmentlined sheet pans. Store in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Pit the cherries and remove the currants from their stems. In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest and salt into the sugar. If you're using flour, now's the time to add it. Add the fruit to the sugar mixture and toss gently to combine. 

Remove the pastry from the fridge and spread each round with about 4 tablespoons of jam, then divide the fruit evenly between the disks, leaving a 1 1/2'' border around the edges. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling and gently brush the egg wash between the folds to seal. Chill the formed tarts until the dough is very firm.

While the tarts are chilling, preheat your oven to 400º. When the tarts are nice and cold, remove them from the fridge, gently brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle the pastry and the fruit with coarse sugar. Bake until the fruit juices bubble and ooze and the pastry is a deep golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.
 

red fruits tart
red fruits tart
red fruits tart