I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I sure did. With one of my nephews having recently gotten married, we celebrated with our newly extended family. Hopefully that will become an annual tradition. At some point during the day, I suddenly got an OMG look on my face when it struck me that this was the first holiday ever that I hadn't made even one thing Armenian! My sister made dinner and left dessert to me and the in-laws. I made no Paklava, no Kadayif, Simit, etc. I didn't even make Stuffed Grape Leaves for an appetizer this year. Don't know how that happened! Nobody seemed to miss it though, since there was more than plenty to go around! I pointed out to the in-laws that now that they're officially family, I can experiment on them like the rest of the crew and don't have to be nice and stick with the tried and true. ;')
These Pavlovas were one of my new experiments. I only put out one plate of them because there were so many other goodies between us, but they tuned out to be a big hit! I'll definitely be playing around with these again. The only real problem I encountered was with my oven door not having a window, so I have to open it to check on the progress of whatever I'm cooking/baking. That's usually not a problem, but with things like meringues and souffles, they are prone to deflating. My meringues were nice and high when I peeked at them, but they sunk quite a bit from just that quick look.
MERINGUE INGREDIENTS :
4 lg egg whites
pinch of salt
1 c super fine sugar
1 t almond extract
2 t cornstarch
2 t vinegar
bit of food coloring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Whip together your whites and salt at medium speed until firm
- Add the sugar, a little at a time, and increase speed to high until stiff peaks form
- Add the cornstarch, vinegar, and food coloring and whip just until combined
- If piping, transfer meringue to piping bag with one of your wider tips in place
- On parchment-lined trays, pipe circles for the bottoms, about 4" across, circling back around the edges 3-4 times to create the sides
- If you are not using a piping bag, just spoon mounds of meringue into 4" circles and either use the back of a spoon or a moistened fingertip to form a well in the center to fill later
- Reduce oven heat to 250 and bake for 30"
- Turn oven off and leave in for another 30"
I assumed that filling them ahead of time would cause them to break down, so I brought the naked meringues with me to my sister's house, along with some whipping cream and fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries and strawberries) to assemble them in place. I lucked out and someone brought a Chocolate Banana Cream Pie and a huge vat o' whipped cream, so I stole some of his whipped cream instead. I had actually picked up a pomegranate to go along with the berries but left it at my place by mistake. You can fill them with whatever you like!
By the way, they sat out (assembled) on the dessert table for quite a while, and they stayed just fine - no melting/weeping.
Top the meringues with the whipped cream and pile on the berries - I only sprinkled a few on each to give people the idea and staged the bowl of berries next to it so they could add as much as they wanted.