Today I am sharing this really simple and delicious recipe for a Mixed Berry Pavlova that I came across in Women's Health Magazine. This dessert is so light and luscious, not heavy or packed with calories. The pavlova is made from beaten egg whites mixed with sugar, salt and cream of tarter. The resulting meringue is spread into a seven inch circle with an indentation in the center so that it resembles a shallow bowl.
After the meringue is baked in a low oven for a long period of time it is cooled then topped with freshly whipped cream to which I added a bit of Grand Marnier Liqueur and a mixture of fresh berries to which I also added a teaspoon or two of Grand Marnier Liqueur. The meringue bakes up crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a light toasted marshmallow-type flavor. The fresh berries and whipped cream add the crowning touch with the Grand Marnier lending a subtle orange flavor that helps to balance out the sweetness of the meringue. I purposely used very little sugar in the berries and the whipped cream as the meringue is plenty sweet by itself. Here is how you can make your own.
I couldn't find the recipe anywhere online so I will provide it for you here:
Mixed Berry Pavlova (adapted from the Women's Health Magazine)
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup superfine sugar or granulated sugar that has been run through a food processor
2 cups mixed fresh black berries, raspberry and quartered strawberries
1 Tbls. Grand Marnier Liqueur (if desired)
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbls. Grand Marnier Liqueur or 1 tsp. vanilla extract (if desired)
2 Tbls. powdered sugar
Preheat to oven to 250 degrees. With a pencil draw a 7 inch circle on a piece of parchment paper. Place the paper pencil side down on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Pavlova: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the room temperature egg whites, salt and cream of tarter until firm. With mixer on medium high, stream in the sugar and continue whisking until stiff glossy peaks form.
Spread the meringue on the prepared baking sheet within the 7 inch circle. Create an indentation in the center of the meringue to resemble a shallow bowl. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until set and dry on the outside. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside until completely cool - approximately 1 hour. I kept the door to the oven closed but the recipe says keep the door slightly open.
Berries: In a medium bowl gently toss the berries with 1 Tbls. Grand Marnier Liqueur and 1tsp. sugar. Set aside.
Whipped Cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whisk the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Whisk in the 2 Tbls. Grand Marnier Liqueur or 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 2 Tbls. powdered sugar. Whisk until firm. Don't over beat or you will end up with butter!
Assembly: Fill the cooled pavlova with the whipped cream and top with the berries
Tips for Serving: Use a serrated knife and cut forward into the pavlova for a little less broken, more complete slices. However, the nature of this dessert is to be a little messy so just go with it! It tastes great!