Dessert Down Under

Thirsty for more Australia? In honor of Shabby Apple's new line of swimwear, Queensland, we continue our tour of the Land Down Under.

A disclaimer up-front that today's post is not going to help you get ready for swimsuit season. But it is going to teach you how to make the most delicious dessert you have ever had in your life. So, you win some, you lose some. Consider yourselves warned.

Pavlova is a floaty, ethereal heaven of a meringue-based, Australia-created dessert. (Well, New Zealand claims credit as well, but we are not talking about New Zealand today, are we?) I ate my first pavlova sitting in the warm breeze, gazing out over the pier in Port Douglas, Queensland. It was fairly perfect, if I do say so myself. But, never fear. Here is everything you need to create a perfect pavlova experience of your own.

Pavlova Recipe (makes 8 to 10 pavlovas)


1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar OR 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar OR distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces, about 6) large egg whites, preferably room temperature
Pinch salt

2 pints fresh or frozen berries
1/4 cup sugar
Whipped Cream for topping


1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the vanilla and vinegar (if using) into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.

2. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar (if using) and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn't use cream of tartar.) Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Pipe or spoon the meringue into 8-10 large round mounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.

5. Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white -- not tan-colored or cracked. The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around.

6. Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or individually wrapped, for up to a week if your house is not humid.

7. Served topped with your favorite filling - lemon curd, raspberry or blueberry sauce, and freshly whipped cream.
Mouth watering yet? Give the recipe a try and let us know how it goes!


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