Courtesy Esther Rodriguez, pastry chef, The Ravenous Pig, Orlando, Florida
The Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert said to be named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova’s tutu, has an excellent effort-to-payoff ratio. Its simplicity, however, means that technique is key to ensure a crisp exterior and marshmallow-like center. At The Ravenous Pig, this Pavlova is often served with a variety of fruit.
- 5 egg whites, room temperature
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar or white-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 3 cups berries or other chopped fruit
- Mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 350˚F.
Using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue to whip, slowly adding sugar, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla, and whip until just incorporated.
Working quickly, transfer mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into circle, about 8 inches in diameter. With spoon, create shallow dip in center of circle. Place in oven and reduce heat to 200˚F. Bake until firm to the touch, about 1 hour, 20 minutes. Turn heat off and let Pavlova cool in oven, at least 2 hours.
To serve, whip cream to stiff peaks and spoon into center of Pavlova. Arrange fruit and mint leaves, if using, on top. Serves 6–8.
Royal Tokaji 2013 5 Puttonyos Aszú Red Label (Tokaji). “The floral notes of the wine complement the Pavlova’s delicate flavor, while its creamy body mirrors the dessert’s texture,” says Scott Geisler, general manager/sommelier of The Ravenous Pig. “And its crisp acidity goes well with the fruit and mitigates the wine’s sweetness.”