Berry Pavlova

This is a really versatile dessert: it’s great for girly things, like bridal showers, baby showers, girl parties etc, since there are no flour carbs or fats from butter or shortening. And it’s pretty popular with the guys too, if they like fruit. 

Like most things made out of egg whites, you’ll need to be careful when you handle it after the egg whites are fluffed. I wouldn’t recommend baking this when you are babysitting a houseful of rowdy kids, or if you are keeping a herd of water buffalo in your kitchen as a percussion section for your mariachi band.  
  • – 3 egg whites
  • – 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • – 1 tablespoons water
  • – 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • – 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • – 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1 8-oz carton of fresh whipping cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
– Sugar to taste (remember the pavlova is already VERY sweet)
– 1 cup frozen blueberries
– 1 cup frozen blackberries
– Sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 275*. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
Beat egg whites till foamy, then gradually add sugar till stiff peaks form. 
Beat in water, then mix (low speed) in cornstarch, vanilla, white vinegar, and salt.
Pour entire mixture onto lined cookie sheet. It will spread as it bakes, so I usually mound it in the middle, then try to form edges about 1/2 inch higher than the center.
Bake for 45 minutes. 
(Do NOT open the oven to look at it or drool or “check on it,” because it will probably fall. After 45 minutes, turn the oven off, and leave it in the oven with the oven door closed. It’s best to leave inside until it is completely cool, so I usually make this the night before I need it and leave it in there overnight. But if you need to take it out to use the oven for something else, I would say let it sit for at least 20-25 minutes in a cooling oven before you try to move it.) 
When you’re almost ready to serve, mix together the blueberries and blackberries and let sit out to de-thaw.  Add some sugar to taste, but keeping them a bit tart is a nice contrast to the very sweet pavlova. 
Slice the strawberries.
Beat the whipping cream in a cold mixing bowl until slightly stiff peaks form; mix in sugar and vanilla. If you add the sugar too soon, it won’t thicken up. But don’t beat it too long either, or you’ll make butter.
Removed the cooled pavlova from the cookie sheet, peel off the parchment paper, and place on a serving plate. Gently break in the top center to create a flat place for the cream and fruit. 
Layer whip cream, then sliced strawberries, then the berries on top. 
Cut like you would a pie, and serve. Serve seconds.    

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