If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that Jacob has a sweet tooth. You probably also know that he has his “favourite” desserts he requests from time to time: cinnamon buns, apple crumble, ice cream, and… pavlova. I am not quite sure why, but it took me 29 years to bake my first pavlova. It was just not something my mom would make when I was a kid, and I never really had the instinct to look into it on my own.
However, for Christmas, Jacob made the special request to have pavlova for dessert. Of course, his mom agreed and as I offered to help with the preparations of the dinner, I happily ended up making the meringue for the dessert. Can I just say: easy-breezy?! It took me about 10 minutes to make, throw it in the oven for 2 hours and gave it to Jacob’s mom to fill it up with whipped cream and fruits. Probably the easiest dessert I have ever made for a family gathering.
Yet, what sold me on them is my first bite. Hello light, fluffy, delicious dessert! I finished my plate and asked for a second portion right away, hoping Jacob would share more of his pavlova – the first he has eaten in 20 years, he would repeat over and over again that evening. I would learn that his aunt who lives in Scotland would bake him his own small pavlova when he would visit as a kid, and that he was always looking forward for this special treat when traveling over there twice a year. However, as he grew up, his visits to Scotland became less frequent and the idea of making and eating pavlova also disappeared. Until Christmas Day 2015, and then again on January 1st when I made individual portions so that he could have as many as he would want over the week. I can say with confidence that his mom and I brought back the tradition!
So as we are entering the new year, I thought I would share this dessert that could be described as healthy (if you go easy on the whipped cream) and that is just the prettiest pastry to enjoy on a snowy day. I have read many recipes online and I know the filling can be almost anything, from chocolate mousse, lemon curd or even pastry cream. This recipe was made using Jacob’s direction on how he would traditionally eat it in Scotland. I also slightly adjusted the recipe his mom gave me, calling it “Jacob’s favourite pavlova”. I hope you will like it just as much as we all did. Cheers!
You will need:
3 egg whites, room temperature
A pinch of cream of tartar
¾ cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of 35% cream
About 2 tablespoons of icing sugar (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
Fruits of your choice
Whisk the egg white with the cream of tartar until they are light and fluffy, leaving soft peek in the bowl.
Add the sugar gradually while whisking until the egg whites are stiff and firm.
With a spoon, make little round-shapes on a parchment paper to create a solid base. Taking your time, use a spoon or a piping bag to create walls around the base – you can see it as creating little nests with the meringue. You will have enough to make 6 small nests.
Bake at 200F for 1 hour and 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven for another hour or so. This will help prevent the meringue from cracking.
In the meanwhile, whisk your whip cream until soft peek. Add the icing sugar or the vanilla and keep whisking until you get stiff peeks. This is called Chantilly cream. Make sure to taste it and add more sugar or vanilla if you like your cream sweeter.
Once the meringue are at room temperature, fill them with Chantilly cream and top with fruits. Enjoy!