What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, cutting board, stand alone or hand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula (or off-set spatula if you have one), medium size pot, wooden spoon, citrus juicer, zester (microplane), baking tray, parchment paper
Serves: 6 -8 (or in my house 4- 6 with at least a few folks going back for seconds!)
- 4 egg whites
- 8 oz of superfine sugar
- 2 1/2 cups of strawberries (cleaned, hulled and quartered)
- 6 rhubarb stalks (approx. 12” in length) cut into ½” pieces
- zest of 1 lemon + juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbs corn starch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar (+ 1 tsp more for dusting the pavlova before serving)
- 16 oz heavy cream
For the meringue: Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Prepare a baking sheet with a little non-stick cooking spray and then place a sheet of parchment on top. (The non-stick spray helps the parchment stay in place.) To make the meringue place the egg whites in a bowl and whip them until they are stiff. A good way to know they are ready is to stick a spoon in and scoop up a little. Turn the spoon upside down and if the meringue sticks it’s ready and time to add the sugar. Add the 8 ozs of superfine sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is still going. Once all the sugar is in incorporated, spoon the meringue onto the parchment lined baking sheet creating a nest of bed for the berries and cream. I use an off-set spatula, but any spatula will do. It doesn’t have to be perfect- in this case rustic is good! Place in the oven and turn down the temperature to 275 ˚F. Bake for 1 hour and then let the meringue cool.
For the compote: Place the strawberries, rhubarb, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tbs of corn starch, lemon zest and juice in a pot. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, berries release their juice and the sauce starts to thicken. Take off the heat to cool. Refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).
For the Cream: Place the heavy cream in a cold (I put mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes before I use it) mixing bowl and whip. Add in the 2 tbs of confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.
Tip: I like to fold a little of the compote into my whip cream prior to putting on top of the meringue. It gives it beautiful color incorporates the flavor in another layer of the dessert. Let me show you.
To Serve: Place the cooled meringue on a serving dish. Add the whipped cream and spread out across the meringue evenly. Spoon the berry compote on top. Add a sprig of fresh mint and dust with a little more confectioners’ sugar.