A lovely light pavlova is a terrific summertime dessert. A cloud of meringue topped with fresh whipped cream and juice berries will always be a hit with both children and adults. I love that Gwyneth included this simple dessert in her cookbook because it is a smart standby and is always, as she points out, always a great way to use up egg whites.
We are getting the blueberry season here in the northeast and I used some of our fresh local berries to make these meringue. It was perfectly beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. I chose to make one large pavlova, though Gwyneth’s recipe calls for several small versions. I recommend individual portions if you are serving guests, just make one big one and hand out forks if it is just you and your family. Of course, I am sure Gwyneth would approve of my advice to pile as many varieties of fresh berries on top of this as you can find. The more the merrier!
Gwyneth’s Blueberry Pavlova
adapted from My Father’s Daughter
4 large egg whites
Pinch of fine salt
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine egg whites, salt, and white vinegar together in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Combine the 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl and add to the egg whites in thirds, whisking each addition in completely. Add the vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon the meringue in 8 big spoonfuls, using the spoon to spread them in a circle, and then make an indent in each one. Bake for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 200 degrees, and bake for another hour. Turn off the heat and cool the meringues in the oven for an hour, propping the door open with a wooden spoon.
4. Meanwhile, whip the cream together with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sugar. Put half the blueberries in a small bowl and crush them with a pastry cutter or potato masher to release their juice. Fold them into the whipped cream. Spread the cream over the pavlova and top with the remaining berries. Enjoy!