Pavlova with Whipped Cream and White Currants

Pavlova with whipped cream and white currants is the perfect dessert to serve to wedding guests -- in addition to a wedding cake or instead of one.

  • Servings: 18

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2011

Ingredients

Meringue for the 10-inch (serves 8):

  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Meringue for the 8-inch (serves 6):

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Meringue for the 6-inch (serves 4):

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling for all pavlovas, combined:

  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
  • 6 1/2 ounces white currants

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using bowl or cake pan as a guide, trace a 10-, 8-, or 6-inch circle. Turn parchment marked side down. (Mix and bake pavlovas one at a time, letting each cool completely in oven before removing and starting the new one. Pavlovas can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days.)

  2. For each size: Whisk egg whites in a mixer bowl on low speed until foamy. Add cornstarch, vinegar, and salt, and whisk on medium speed until medium peaks form. Gradually whisk in superfine sugar. Then raise speed to medium-high, and whisk until very stiff, glossy peaks form. Whisk in vanilla.

  3. Using a rubber spatula or large spoon, spread meringue inside the circle on parchment, forming a shallow well with a rim that's 1 to 2 inches wide.

  4. Bake until outside is firm and bottom lifts off parchment easily, about 2 hours. (The inside should still be marshmallow soft.) Turn off oven, and let meringue cool on baking sheet in oven for at least 2 hours or overnight to prevent excessive cracking. When cool, carefully remove from parchment.

  5. For filling: Just before serving, whisk cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Spread in center of each meringue (about 1 cup for 10-inch, 3/4 cup for 8-inch, and 1/2 cup for 6-inch). Top with currants. Cut pavlovas with a serrated knife, and serve.

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