Today is my turn to host Sweet Melissa Sunday. Each Sunday a different blogger prepares and posts a recipe from “Sweet Melissa Baking Book”, a terrific cookbook full of recipes that give fantastic results. I’m sure everyone has been disappointed by a cookbook with beautiful pictures but find the recipes aren’t great. You won’t be let down by Melissa Murphy’s recipes.
Today’s selection is Pavlova, a dessert that combines meringue, whipped cream and fresh fruit. It should be made the day you plan to serve it but most of the work can be done earlier in the day.First, you need a mixer to beat the meringue:
The ingredient list is short:
Egg whites plus sugar and after beating them to stiff glossy peaks you add a touch of vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla. After a slow bake and a rest in the turned off oven you have the base:
The fruit topping will be tossed with a raspberry sauce:
Top the base with whipped cream, spoon on the fruit mixture, drizzle with a little extra sauce and you have a heavenly dessert!
And here’s what was left after my housekeeping crew arrived:
This is the recipe:
Sweet Melissa Pavlova Peach Melba
– FOR THE MERINGUE- 4 large egg whites- 1 cup superfine sugar- 1 1/2 tsps cornstarch- 1 tsp white vinegar, (I used champagne vinegar)- 1/4 tsp vanilla, (I used vanilla paste)- FOR THE MELBA- 2 to 3 large peaches- 1 pint fresh raspberries- 1 recipe raspberry sauce, see notes- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM- 1 cup heavy cream, very cold- 1 tsp vanilla- 1 Tablespoon sugar
Before you start:Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 7″ circle on the paper with a pen. Flip over the paper. You will be able to see the line.
To make the meringue:1. In a clean, grease-free bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high heat until they hold firm peaks, about 1 minute. Start adding the sugar, little by little, until the meringue holds very stiff glossy peaks, about 2 minutes. You should not feel any sugar grains at this point. If you do, keep beating.
2. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the cornstarch over the meringue, and sprinkle the vanilla and vinegar on top. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the ingredients into the meringue until just fully incorporated (the goal is to do so without deflating the meringue.)
3. Gently mound the meringue in the center of the circle on the prepared parchment paper, and smooth the edges. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Turn off the oven, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven for an additional hour or more. The meringue may crack as it cools – this is normal. When cool, carefully peel the paper from the bottom of the meringue and place the meringue on a serving platter. The meringue can be made only on the day of serving.
To prepare the fruit:Peel, pit, and slices the peaches into a large bowl. Place the raspberries on top of the peaches. Pour over 1/2 cup of the raspberry sauce. Using a rubber spatula, gently combine.
To make the whipped cream:In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whipping attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow, steady stream, add the sugar beating until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.
To Complete the Pavlova:1. Mound the whipped cream in the center of the meringue and spread it just up to the edges.2. Pile the fruit and any sauce left in the bottom of the bowl on top of the cream.3. Drizzle a little of the remaining sauce over the fruit, and serve the rest of the sauce on the side. Using a large spoon, serve immediately.
To make raspberry sauce: combine two 12 ounce packages of frozen raspberries, 3/4 plus 2 TBS. sugar, and 1 TBS fresh lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Chill for up to 5 days.SERVINGS: 8SOURCE: Sweet Melissa Baking Book
I hope you will try this recipe.