6 Large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Granulated sugar
1/2 Tsp. Cream of tartar
1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tsp. Pure vanilla extract
Blackberry and Ginger Topping
1 Lb. Fresh blackberries
3/4 Cup Granulated sugar
1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup Patricia and Paul Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Tsp. Ground ginger
1/2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Confectioner’s sugar
Fresh Flowers, garnish
Make the Pavlova:
1) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a round bowl or plate (about 8-9 inches wide) on top of the parchment paper. Using a pencil or pen, outline the dish on the parchment paper to create a circle. This will be your guide when creating the round pavlova. Turn the parchment paper over so the pencil or ink won’t touch the meringue. You will be able to see the outline of the circle on the paper. Put the prepared baking sheet to the side.
2) In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the room temperature egg whites on medium-high speed until the mixture has soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla and whip together for 30 seconds. Begin adding the sugar after 30 seconds, adding about 1/4 cup of sugar at a time, whipping for 30-45 seconds between each addition of sugar.
3) When the meringue is stiff and glossy, transfer the meringue to the parchment lined baking sheet. Use a spatula to smooth the meringue into a circle using the outline you created as a guide. Create a shallow indentation in the middle of the pavlova which will hold the whipped cream and berries.
4) Put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed with the pavlova inside to dry out for at least 6-8 hours and up to overnight.
Make your blackberry and ginger topping
5) Combine the blackberries, sugar, water, ginger and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook just until the sugar has dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and let cook another 3-4 minutes. Cool the mixture to room temperature.
You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge overnight. Just bring it to room temperature before topping the pavlova.
Make your whipped cream
6) In a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters from a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until you have thick, fluffy whipped cream. You can hold this in the fridge for up to an hour before serving.
7) To plate and serve the pavlova, place the meringue on a large plate or cake stand. Top it with the whipped cream and then add the blackberry ginger topping. Garnish with edible flowers and serve immediately.
NOTES: Don’t let the time it takes to make my Pavlova with Blackberries and Ginger keep you from trying it. Almost all of it is passive time (waiting overnight for the meringue to dry out and set up). It is super easy to make and a real showstopper. This dessert is a refreshing change and your guests will appreciate the effort. Just don’t tell them how easy it was to make.
First, a couple of tips to make this dessert perfect every time.
1. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
2. It is incredibly important that your mixing bowl and whisk attachment are spotless and dry. Even one speck of grease, soap or food will keep the merange from mixing properly. I always wash both the bowl and whisk before using it. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely.
3. When cracking your eggs, practice safety first. What do I mean? Even a little bit of the egg yolk can keep your meringue from getting thick and glossy. I once watched Emeril Lagasse on live TV, not being able to get it to come together. He later told his audience there was some egg yolk in the mix. So, to be safe, crack one egg at a time into a small bowl, separating the eggs. (You can keep the egg yolks for another use.) Then, one at a time, pour the egg whites into the mixing bowl. This way, if you accidentally get some egg yolk in the mix, you only lose one egg, not all of them.
4) Drawing out a circle is the easiest and fastest way to get a nice, even circle to create your pavlova. It takes one minute…take the time. Just remember, to flip the parchment paper over so the ink or pencil is NOT touching the food.
5) Let the pavlova sit in the oven for at least 6 hours. Overnight is great. It is important that the outside drys out completely so you get that slight crunch while the inside stays soft. Don’t rush this process.
OK, you are ready to start making the dish. First up, grab a bowl or plate about 8-9 inches wide. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and top it with a plate or bowl (Upside down). Using a pen or pencil, outline the bowl. Flip the parchment over. You’ll be able to see the outline on the paper.
Next, crack your eggs (one at a time), separating the white from the yellow. Save the yellow for another use and add each egg white to a super clean bowl for your stand mixer. Beat all the egg whites on medium-high until soft, fluffy peaks form.
Add the salt, cream of tarter and pure vanilla extract and beat another 30 seconds. Then, start adding the sugar, one quarter of a cup at a time, until everything is fully incorporated. Let it mix a full 30-45 seconds between additions.
Once the meringue is thick and glossy, put it on the parchment paper right in the middle of the circle outline. Using a spatula, smooth out the pavlova to fill in that circle. You want to create a shallow indentation in the middle. This will hold the whipped cream and berry mixture when you are finishing the dessert.
Put in the oven for one hour. Turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven with the door closed for a minimum of 6 hours and up to overnight.
To make your blackberry and ginger topping, you’ll add the blackberries, water, sugar and ground ginger to a small pot. Cook for several minutes until the sugar disolves and the berries are hot. Add the blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for about five minutes until it starts to get syrupy. NOTE: this will get thicker as it cools. Take the pot off the heat and let cool completely.
To make the whipped cream, chill a metal bowl and the beaters from a hand mixer in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This makes beating up the cream easy and fast. Add your cream, sugar and vanilla to the chilled bowl and beat for several minutes until you have thick, fluffy whipped cream.
Both the berry topping and whipped cream can be held in the fridge for a couple of hours.
To assemble the pavlova, place it on a cake stand and fill in the indentation with the whipped cream. Top with the berries and some of the berry juice. Garnish with some edible flowers and enjoy.
Looking for other “show stopper” desserts? Try one or more of my favorites:
Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Balsamic Raspberries
Healthier Cherry-Cranberry Cheesecake with Pistachio Crust
Raspberry and Pistachio Semifreddo
Brandy’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting