A Pavlova And A Guest

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pavlova5


It's "Share Your Space Friday" here again!! I have never posted that much in a week and the fun part is that I only had to write an intro!!

I am loving having guest bloggers and not only because it gives me time to frolic in the sun (ugh...no not really...!) but mainly because it is like having a friend stop by and share with you a bit of their day, their personality, etc... And if personality had a name, it would be Kelly from
Sass and Veracity. I knew from the first post that I'd be reading forever...I think it was her post on creme brulee and I found myself almost hugging the computer screen just staring at her stove. Meeting her last Fall was the icing on the cake....if only my mom and mother-in-law would let me be adopted by this sassy gal...sigh... She's got verbage, she's got class, she's got ethics and an amazing sense of humor. Most of all, I don't know better person to cheer anybody on in anything they venture doing.

I am thrilled to have Kelly pop by and share with you this amazingly refreshing pavlova. Read on for the recipe.

Now....doesn't this look amazing for Spring! Happy Easter everyone!


I'm one of those cooks who is notorious for preparing recipes I've never tried before when there's a special occasion looming. It doesn't matter whether it's for family, close friends, or a party for 40, I can guarantee that everything I make will be new to me. I'm sure that to some, I'm either grossly egotistic, or to others, a complete fool. I'd say adventuresome -- or a glutton for punishment. The thrill of discovery during the planning process far exceeds any worry I could have about screwing something up. I love sifting through my magazines, cookbooks, and favorite web sites looking for the perfect recipe -- especially if it's something totally new.

So when Helen contacted me about doing this guest post, after initially grinning like a sap, I felt as if I'd been given permission to create the biggest planning mess I've made in a while. Cookbooks and magazines everywhere. A bookmarking frenzy on my Mac. Silly questions about "which recipe would be best" posed to my 16-year-old son who patiently indulged me with a more than one-syllable response. It was as if I'd been invited to a lovely party and then realized I didn't have anything to wear. Even if I actually had a particular recipe in mind, and said recipe came out perfectly, I'd have to take photos.

Ah, the photos. I've all but swooned over Helen's ethereal photos at one point or another. Light and airy, softly beckoning me to linger over what she has prepared, each photo taunts me with a "just you go ahead and try to make this, girlie!" And I think, in time -- all in good time after kicking my procrastination skills into high gear. I met Helen last last Fall at the wedding of a mutual friend, and it took no time at all to learn just why her work is as flawless as it appears. She's patiently persistent, works hard, is extremely focused, works hard, and has a seemingly bottomless reservoir of energy. Did I mention how hard she works? Meeting her was an absolute pleasure. Clearly, I had to make something that would have a chance of gracing the page, right?

Pavlova

Ironically, I came very close to baking a Paris Brest, something I've made before, but at the last minute, changed my mind. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the last time I made pate a choux, I was less than thrilled with the outcome. Instead, I'll blame it on the photograph I saw in this month's issue of Gourmet of the "Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries." Its imperfect, simple appearance reminded me of a galette and prodded me to reconsider the long standing issue I've had with meringue. Not the meringue on pies -- meringue that's baked. For some reason, I've always steered clear of it, not quite relishing the sensation it causes in my teeth when I bite into it. Or maybe it's the near weightlessness of it. Surely something so light can't have much substance. Excuses, excuses.

But I was mesmerized by the Pavlova, a dessert named after the famous Russian ballerina who, after touring Australia and New Zealand in the 1930's, is said to have had this dessert named after her. Although it's the "light and airy" aspect of her dancing that the dessert was created to mimic, I'm reminded more of a flouncy tutu, fluffed high with tuille. Just beautiful.

I've been savoring this dessert since yesterday, marveling over extreme contrasts in texture and flavor. The meringue crust, so delicate that touching it causes it to shatter, melts on my tongue. In the center, the meringue is a creamy, marshmallow treat, its sweetness tempered by the tartness of the lemon cream. The combination of the berries and grapes add a perfect crunch that brings it all together. Whimsical, unpredictable, and oh so delicious.

Here's to you, Helen. You're an inspiration to me in many ways and I'm quite honored to have done this for you.

Pavlova7

Pavlova with Lemon Cream, Berries, and Grapes

For the meringue...
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

For the filling...
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups mixed berries
2 cups grapes

Preheat oven to 300ºF and position a rack in the center.
To prepare the lemon cream, stir sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and butter, bringing the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat. Continue to whisk at a simmer, about 1 minute. Whisk about 1/4 of the mixture into the beaten egg yolks, then transfer the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Over low heat, continue to cook, but make sure not to boil, whisking constantly until the lemon curd is thick, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a shallow bowl, stir in the lemon zest, and place a piece of parchment over the surface. Refrigerate for about 1-1/2 hours.

To prepare the meringue, line a baking sheet with parchment and trace a circle about 7" in diameter in the center. Turn the parchment over.
Whisk superfine sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the water and beat until whites hold soft peaks once again.
On medium-high, beat in sugar mixture 1 Tbsp at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute longer. Add vinegar, then beat at high speed until glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer). The meringue will be extremely thick.
Spread meringue carefully to cover the circle on the parchment, creating a cavity in the center (for the filling). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes. Avoid opening the oven door! Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour. The exterior will be dry and possibly cracked, the inside more like the consistency of marshmallow.

To assemble the pavlova, beat the heavy cream just as it holds stiff peaks, then 1/4 cup at a time, whisk cream into the lemon curd. Check consistency each time before adding more cream. It should be able to mound. Spoon lemon cream into cooled meringue and mound fruit in the center. Serve with extra whipped cream if desired.

50 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Love the guest post, Kelly!! And that pavlova is phenomenal.

Bratsky said...

Fantastic!!! :)

The Clever Pup said...

Pavlovas or any kind of meringues are one of my favourite things. Remind me of teatime in England when I was 5.

Joyeuses Pâques

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a gorgeous looking pavlova! I also tend to make recipes that are new to me when people come home...

Cheers,

Rosa

lynda said...

Yummy!! Best part is Pavlova's taste even better than they look! That's what I'm planning to make for Easter, too! Happy easter!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

simply beautiful. and delicious i'm sure.

Ilva said...

Absolutely fantastic! I want some now but alas...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Totally
Absolutely . . . that is what Spring should be!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

I just got up the bravery to make my very first pavlovas yesterday. We decided that we need to have them monthly. I had the same hesitation about baked meringues. Your description is perfect.

It looks spectacular. Love the idea of using lemon curd, too.

Jennywenny said...

Mmmm, love pavlova!

I think it works very well on silpats too, which stops it sticking to things!

I really enjoy the mini pavlovas then everyone gets a bite. Its pretty tricky dividing those big ones up without an enormous mess!!

Char said...

I've always wanted to do one of these. Beautiful

Bron said...

Superb Pavlova! Yum!

Chris said...

What a wonderful post! And, the Pavlova is lovely! I love, love, love Pavlovas. Thanks for sharing Kelly!

Snooky doodle said...

its so nice to look at. these looks delicious! wow

cindy* said...

yummmy, and so spring-y too! wonderful guest post!

anna said...

That looks so yummy! I love meringue and fruit and have been wanting to make a pavlova for a while but all the good local fruits won't be in peak season for a bit so I'm waiting. I also tend to want to make things I never have before for special occasions, or just for no reason. Awesome guest post. :)

glamah16 said...

Perfect for this season. I love Kelly's attitude and approach to cooking and baking. No guts no glory.

RecipeGirl said...

Terrific guest post! Kelly- you did it... you managed to make a dessert very worthy of Tartrlette's blog... just as pretty and delicious as Helen herself would make. It's lovely, and it has springtime written all over it :)

Maria said...

Great guest post. I just love Kelly! Such a beautiful dessert!

Miakoda said...

Absolutely Gorgeous!!!

kellypea said...

Thanks to all of you, and Helen, of course! Clearly, I'm in the minority with respect to Pavlovas with this being my first. I'm hooked!

Kristen said...

Absolutely phenomenal Kelly! Love your prose, gorgeous photos and the recipe.

cikmanggis said...

Look great and delicious...oh I love pavlova :)

Katie said...

That pavlova looks absolutely delicious. I especially like the idea of grapes on it - I'd never considered that!

A G Photography said...

This recipe is an act of violence on my diet!
It looks wonderfully appetizing, I can't wait to try it. Btw adding vinegar to the meringue is something most of people don't know, hats off!

angela@spinachtiger said...

It's beautiful. A dessert you have to call "she." Sometime lovely for bridal showers, dance recital parties, or just anytime. Such deliciousness to the eyes.

Esi said...

This is absolutely lovely. Great guest post! I have had this pavlova on the mind since I got my copy of Gourmet a few weeks ago.

Aran said...

love the last photo with the cracked meringue. makes me want to take a spoon and dive right in! beautiful post!

Lis said...

Prettiest Pavlova I've ever seen, Kel!! I can just imagine how divine it was. :)

Beautiful job sweets!
xoxoxoxox

unconfidential cook said...

Absolutely the most beautiful pavlova I've seen!

Jen Yu said...

Gorgeous pavlova there! I just love that combination of the crunchy and the smooth and the sugary and the fruity. Great job!

Jamie said...

LOVE Pavlova and you guys have just reminded me how long it has been since I've made one!

chefectomy said...

So hard to beat a Pavlova - these are beautiful.

--Marc

Junglefrog said...

That is one beautiful Pavlova! Great guestpost Kelly! I loved reading it...:) and that pavlova is just waiting to be tried out!

alice said...

i love it when culinary paths cross. i just made one too! your pavlova looks magnificent! ;)

Elyse said...

What a fabulous Easter treat! You've had some great guest bloggers. This pavlova looks amazing--light, crunchy, sweet, and refreshing! Delightful!

Jenny said...

Ha I share a trait with Kelly! I had people over for dinner yesterday and made 3 new recipes for it, so we are both nuts, aren't we?
I love how this looks and considered making this for our Easter dessert. Had I stopped by here first, I might have.

Jen said...

What a delightful post! I like how the pavlova is light natured AND weighed down by a mound of fresh fruit. Yum!

Lisa said...

Kelly, you did a fabulous job with the guest post and the gorgeous pavlovas! They look beautiful and delicious, and just like a Helen creation, with your own touch, of course. Kudos!

Michelle said...

Yummm I love pavlovas!

Giff said...

great guest post kelly, and I love your photos!

Chessa! said...

I'm drooling a little bit. I could hardly get through the text bc the photos and general deliciousness are too distracting. now I have to get to reading!

thecatskillkiwi said...

hi
http://thecatskillkiwi.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/who-wants-to-whip-up-a-pav/

I could honestly eat Pavlova every single day... I kid you not!!

Ellemay said...

Add a few tablespoons of cocoa and some chopped dark chocolate and this transforms into heaven

s. stockwell said...

This recipe is so timely for us. We were looking for one and this seems perfect. Thanks. best from Santa Barbara. s

Anonymous said...

Is there a way for you to remove the comment written in Chinese? I can read Chinese, and the text basically describes various pornographic links. Your blog is so cute. I really hate that someone posted such an inappropriate comment.

Tartelette said...

Anonymous: I am fully aware of those spam comments. I have to remove them manually and it takes a chunk of time I don't have right now. But so far I got 234 gone out of 500+...one at a time.
Thank you for your concern.

rob said...

love this dessert. is there a way to make the meringue
using less sugar? i find it to be on the very sweet side. thanks

lauresophie said...

Recette testée, approuvée à l'unanimité! Merci! et la meringue est divine ainsi!

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