I love raspberries. When Weshop inexplicably stocked them last week I scooped up a half-pint of them. I thought I would try out my new 4-inch tart pans with them, but then I saw this recipe on Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten's Food Network show, today.
A Pavlova is a meringue with whipped cream and fruit on top. It's named after the famous Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova - probably after she visited the Southern Hemisphere on her world tour in the 1930's. Both New Zealand and Australia take credit for the dessert. Ina Garten says it was inspired by her tutu. All I know is it's deadly. The meringue is baked slowly at a low temperature so that the inside is perfectly light and fluffy - not as hard as most meringues. In fact, it's very light while you're eating it, but then you realize you've just downed a lot of eggs, sugar and heavy cream. Ha! Here it is before I baked it:
And then you add fresh whipped cream and berries you have made a sauce of, and it looks something like this, a deflated blimp:
Especially if you put it back in the oven after it's cooled and you don't have time to cool it again and the whipped cream melts and the berries look lurid and red, but it's all okay because it's just you and your parents and they love nearly everything you make and it's been that way since you smeared paint on paper (or the carpet, the kitchen table, etc.) for the first time. A far cry from these French beauties I once spotted in Provence.
Sigh. If you're interested in making the Pavlova, however, I'll refer you to the Food Network site itself for the real deal. You'll note their picture is also pretty messy. Phew. Click here.