Raspberry Strawberry Pavlova

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Well folks, it’s been nothing short of a spectacular summer but there’s nothing like not having a homebase to really miss having one. After living out of a suitcase and traveling 11,728 miles for almost three months and making a cross-country move, it would be a drastic understatement to say we are so glad to be settling down again. Granted, we have relocated to a new town, new state, and new area of the US which will require making new friends and staring over again but we are looking forward to the new friends we will make while keeping in touch with those we left behind.

I have not had the chance to christen my new kitchen yet, so I hope you will enjoy this recipe I made for the bridal shower of a dear friend several months ago. It’s the perfect thing to go with summery tart fruit, and will satisfy any sweet tooth while being refreshingly, well, fresh!

20130529-232229.jpgThis is easiest with a stand mixer, but possible with a hand operated one if you are dexterous enough. Grabbing an extra pair of hands to help is not a bad idea.

20130529-232237.jpgAlmost to hard peaks…

20130529-232410.jpgI like to pile it up in the center as much as possible, since it tends to spread as it bakes.

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Be careful at this point to not open the oven door, jump up and down on your kitchen floor, or have an earthquake. You may end up with a pavlova pancake which is just as tasty, but not half as pretty.

Berry Pavlova

Ingredients
– 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

Topping:
– 1 8-oz carton of fresh whipping cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Sugar to taste (remember the pavlova is already sweet)
– 1 – 1 1/2 cup fresh/frozen raspberries
– 1 – 1 1/2 cup fresh/frozen 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 with strokes into the center.

Bake for 45 minutes.
(Do not open the oven to look at it or drool or “check on it,” because it may 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 with the door cracked open before you try to move it.)

When you’re almost ready to serve, mix together the berries and let sit out to de-thaw if frozen, or use a fork to gently mash them together. Add some sugar to taste, but keeping them a bit tart is a nice contrast to the very sweet pavlova.

Beat the heavy cream in a cold mixing bowl until soft peaks form; mix in sugar and vanilla. If you add the sugar too soon, it won’t thicken up; but too long, and 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 berries, then whip cream on top.
Cut like you would a pie, and serve. Serve seconds.

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