Part of a Saturday night dinner: Dessert
- Servings: 8.
Our friend David Neibart sent us this menu and all its parts, a meal that can be enjoyed completely by adults and in parts by young kids (ages four and under) who can peel off parts for themselves – especially the Greenmarket Fried Rice and Pavlova. Each course is easy to prepare, and can be served at different hours without losing anything.
- Fresh baguette, sliced with aged Gouda
- Simple Green Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
- Seared Scallops with Lime and Cilantro Butter
- Greenmarket Fried Rice
For dessert, there is a Pavlova. This luscious combination of meringue, fruit, and whipped cream is a traditional Australian dessert originally named in honor of the famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. The outside of the meringue is firm but the inside is soft, like marshmallow.
Most of the meal will serve 4 but this dessert can easily serve 8.
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (also known as corn flour)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (chilled)
- 1/2 tablespoons confectioner/powered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 pints raspberries, strawberries or other fresh fruit
- Separate the eggs and put the egg whites aside to reach room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 250° F degrees. Place the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium-high until they form soft peaks. Start adding the superfine sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until the meringue forms very stiff peaks. If the meringue feels gritty, continue to beat as the sugar has not fully dissolved.
- Use a spatula to thoroughly fold in the vinegar and cornstarch.
- Using the same spatula, spread the meringue in a 12" circle on the parchment paper. Don’t fuss too much as it will usually spread out a bit during the cooking process.
- Place it in the oven for 60 minutes or until the surface is dry and a very pale cream color. It needs to cook slowly and should not be brown. Turn off the oven and leave the merangue in the oven, letting it cool completely.
- When you are ready to serve dessert, place the cooked and cooled meringue on a pretty serving plate. Whip the cream, adding the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract just before the cream is fully whipped.
- Plop all the whipped cream on top of the meringue. Then place the raspberries on top of the cream (you can also use fruits like passion fruit, strawberries, blackberries, or kiwi fruit).
- Use a serrated bread knife to cut generous wedges of the meringue/cream/fruit combination.
Tip: After you separate the eggs, cover and let them sit for about 30 minutes so they reach room temperature – they’ll whip much more easily.
Tip: To ensure the egg whites whip to the firmest peak, make sure your mixing bowl, beater attachment and spatula are spectacularly clean – the smallest amount of grease will compromise the whipping process.
Tip: The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days or you can leave it in the oven overnight. However, once you add the cream and fruit, you should eat it that day. Leftovers can be put in the fridge but the meringue will start to soften from the moisture so it won’t taste as delicious as it did on day one!