Perfecting A Berry Pavlova

perfect pavlova topped with berries

Making a pavlova is no easy task, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  I learned this the hard way.  I guess my confidence had surpassed my common sense.  How does the saying go “Never try making a recipe for the first time when having dinner guests over!”  Like a fool I tried making my first pavlova on a day when I was having a small dinner party for a friends birthday.  COMPLETE FAIL.  I had followed Ina Garten’s recipe, temperature, and instructions.  I had never seen anyone make one so I figured why not turn to her.  I whipped up the egg whites and added the sugar.  It was fluffy, dense, and perfect.  Popped the pavlova in the oven and let it bake and cool.  When it was time to serve the pavlova, it just crumbled and was WAY undercooked.  A little stream of  ”egg-white goo” came pouring out of it.  I had to quickly come up with an alternative dessert to serve my guests (which wasn’t a problem, I was well stocked with ice cream, berries, and coffee cake.)  I went to bed that night thinking of the fantasy pavlova I had imagined I was going to make instead of that mush that was now sitting in the trash.

A few days later I was at Walmart and saw a beautiful display of berries in the market section.  They had blueberries, strawberries, blackberries. $1.88 a carton of bright red strawberries. I practically did a little dance knowing that I was gonna pile up on berries because I had a pavlova to tackle when I got home.  It didn’t matter how many times I had to try and perfect it, I was gonna have some berries on my pavlova.

With determination on my side, and a huge carton of eggs, me and my KitchenAid went to work.  I didn’t change much of Ina Garten’s recipe, I just baked it at a different temperature and made sure it was cooked all the way through before I even attempted to place it on a platter. Now that I know how to make it, I’ll be sure to whip it up for my friends the next time they’re here to visit.  Live and learn.

ingredients for pavlova

Ingredients for berry pavlova:

  • 4 – extra large egg whites
  • 1 1/8 – cups sugar
  • 2 – teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 – teaspoon vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 – teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – cups whipped cream
  • 2 – cups berries ( I used a combo of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Place a 9-inch circle piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. _MG_0105
  3. In a mixer attached with a whisk, whisk egg whites for about a minute on high or until peaks form.
  4. With the mixer still on high, slowly start to add in sugar 1 heaping tablespoon at a time. This step should take a total of about two minutes. The whites should be dense and fluffy.
  5. Remove the mixture for the mixer.
  6. Sift cornstarch over egg whites, then add in vinegar and vanilla. Fold the mixture with a rubber spatula until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the center of the wax paper, then with the rubber spatula work your way from the center to the outer edges of the wax paper. Making a perfect pavlova. pavlova before going into the oven
  8. Place the pavlova in the oven, then lower the temp to 250 degrees fahrenheit.
  9. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  10. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven with the door closed for about 5 hours or until completely cooled down.
  11. With a small spatula run it along the edges to remove the wax paper from underneath. Then transfer the pavlova very carefully to a platter.
  12. Spread the top with whipped cream, and fresh berries. An overhead shot of a perfect pavlova topped with whipped cream and berries #WMTMoms
  13. Serve immediately.

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