If you are a locavore, fall is the time to stockpile for winter. Buy a side of pork for the freezer, store some onions in a cool place and fire up the spare refrigerator for the extra carrots and beets. Then turn last season’s frozen egg whites into a Fall Colors Pavlova Meringue dessert.
What? Yup, make dessert.
You see, one of my get-ready-for-winter tasks is finishing up whatever’s left from the prior year. This year, that included egg whites I had frozen during my crème brulee binge last winter. Yup, getting ready for the upcoming winter meant turning egg whites into dessert (Pavlova Meringue Dessert), more dessert (Pavlova Meringue Dessert #2), and dessert again (Lemon Lavender Cupcakes).
Whoever said “leftovers” aren’t fun?
If you aren’t familiar with the Pavlova, it is a crisp meringue with a creamy center (some meringues are crisp all the way through) topped with fruit and whipped cream (or in this case, orange curd, raspberry sorbet and fruit). It is said to have been created for the famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova during a tour to Australia and New Zealand—a dessert as light and airy as the dancer.
Now if you are thinking that this sounds like a hard, fancy dessert, you right—but only about the “fancy” part. This Fall Colors Meringue Pavlova dessert is easy–especially if you purchase the curd and sorbet toppings.
I have only once had a meringue failure (from a bad substitution of ingredients, shame on me)—even though I fail at baking all the time (shhh).
This recipe makes eight meringues and my daughter made a fun discovery for one of the extras. She sliced it in half (like a hamburger bun), then filled it with spray whipped cream. Delicious (and it brought me back to the cream meringues I used to eat with tea as a college student in Ireland).
Mmm, all around.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 oz fruit curd
- 2 pints raspberry, strawberry or mango sorbet
- 1 pint blackberries or blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 8 (2 1/2-inch) circles on the parchment. Turn the paper face down on the baking sheets.
- Beat the egg whites & cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla, then gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed until the egg whites form very stiff peaks.
- Drop onto the prepared parchment by spoonfuls, forming into flat rounds. Hollow out a slight well in the center of each
- Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hour, or until the meringues are dry on the outside but not browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
- When cool remove from the parchment, by inserting a flat tool like a metal spatula or pancake turner underneath to gently release
- Top with a generous spoonful of fruit curd, a scoop of sorbet and fresh berries.
- I’ve had these come out perfect at one hour or a little undercooked/fragile depending on the oven. Consider baking an extra 15 minutes if they aren't browning at all. But if the crisp outside is thinner than ideal, they are delicious even imperfect and just need to be handled more carefully.
- Next time I’m planning strawberry or raspberry curd and mango sorbet!