Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Resurrection Pavlova

Holy Saturday.

The clan is gathering. The kitchen is beginning to buzz. The lamb is marinating. The bread is ordered and needs to be picked up this afternoon, which I'll do on my way to the Amtrak Station in Wilmington to fetch the daughter who is coming in from NYC.  Another daughter and her husband arrive either later tonight or very early tomorrow morning. The sermon for tonight's Vigil is done. The sermon for Easter Day needs a few tweaks.

There's lots to be done before The Great Vigil of Easter.

I'm excited about tomorrow's dessert.

It's a simple thing, really. Light. Sweet. A perfect ending to a festive meal.

It's called 'Pavlova'. According to more than one source, it's the 'national dessert' of both Australia and New Zealand. No matter: it's dramatic, relatively easy, and delicious. It will be piled high with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries with a few slices of kiwi, a few sprigs of fresh mint and garnished with shavings of white chocolate.

I've made it once before, on the advice of my friend Jim O'Donnell who was one of the best cooks I know. Jim died a few months ago. This is my 'resurrection' gift in his honor - a way of celebrating his life and his many gifts and talents. It's a way to keep his spirit alive.

So, it has been given a new name. I'm now calling it 'Resurrection Pavlova'.

I'm sharing the recipe here, as I am occasionally wont to do. It would please me greatly if you gave it a try and, when you do, do it in remembrance of him - a testimony to the community we are called together to be, in Christ's name, and the power of His resurrection.

A most blessed Triduum to you all and a joyous Easter!

PAVLOVA SHELL

• 8 egg whites, at room temperature
• Pinch of salt
• 1 ½ cups superfine sugar
• 4 Tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tsp white vinegar
• 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°. Draw an 8” circle on a sheet of parchment paper and line a baking sheet with it.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until peaks form, about 3 minutes.

On medium speed, whisk in the sugar a little at a time. Turn the mixer to high to fully incorporate.

Add the cornstarch, and whisk until blended. Add the vinegar, then the vanilla. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat at high speed for several minutes until the mixture is very stiff.

Pile* the meringue onto the parchment, using a spatula to spread it around the circle, and piling the sides slightly higher than the middle. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 300°.

Bake the meringue for 1 ½ hours, then turn the oven off and prop open the door. Let the meringue cool completely. It can be stored uncovered for several hours.

*If the meringue can’t hold its shape, scrape it back into the bowl and beat for another couple of minutes. It should stand still when you pile it on the paper.

FOR A SMALLER MERINGUE (serving 6-8): halve all the ingredients, and the baking time. Leave the temperature at 350°, rather than turning it down. Follow all other instructions.

(From the Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2007)

FOR THE PAVLOVA
• 2-3 c heavy cream
• fresh berries and/or other fruit, cut up – as much as you like.
When ready to serve, whip cream until stiff, adding a little Grand Marnier if desired. Fill the shell with the cream, then top with fruit.

FOR A SMALLER PAVLOVA, use 1-2 c heavy cream.

11 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Looks mouthwateringly yummy!

Have a Blessed and Happy Easter.

Muthah+ said...

Thanks for reminding me to put the lamb to marinate! I have pulled together a tornado relief crew for this morning and clean up the yard of a UMC parish so they can have sunrise service on their lawn. Come home for a bit of a nap, written my Vigil homily, sent thank you emails to those who worked this morning and almost forgot to put the lamb to soak. We will not be having dessert! I am not sure that we are going to have anything but roasted lamb on the barbie but it will certainly be with loins girded!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mimi - It is and it's Really Easy to make. Happy, happy Easter.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Muthah+ - You are certainly receiving your Easter blessing this year! I can't imagine how grateful all those folks must feel for all the work you're helping to coordinate.

If there's anything we in the nawth can help with, you be sure to let us know.

Happy Easter, m'dear.

Jim said...

Joyous and blessed Easter to you and all.

FWIW
jimB

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

And also with you, JimB

Allyson said...

Elizabeth, this truly is an Australian. It was supposed to have been invented in honour if Anna Pavolva. The ability to make a good pavlova ( or pav as we usually say) is a matter of some pride and the cornstarch or no cornstarch debate has the longevity and intensity of a crusade.
Most country church suppers will feature variations of pav and a few sponge cakes for good measure. I often make it in a cooling oven after I have baked.
My preferred toppings include banana and strawberries, sometimes with a bit of Tia maria whipped into the cream. You can also make a chocolate pavlova by adding cocoa powder in place of some of the cornstarch.

The Australian vs Kiwi origin is hotly contested.

I hope you enjoyed it and that others are inspired to make it.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

We had it for dessert tonight and it was absolutely a perfect ending to an Easter meal. I, of course, used cornstarch and I think it made the meringue perfect. I'll be using this when next I make lemon meringue pie.

It may believed to have first been made in Australian, but I'm sure it is a recipe directly from the angels in heaven.

Jim said...

I thought your recipe fascinating, so I made it, and instead of berries, I made the already planned Orange Chantilly and topped it (he I cook for the grand-babies!) with bright green peeps. I think it was a triumph. It got the ultimate seal of approval, both my sons and my dau-in-law had seconds!

I an going to attempt a link to my picture of it here. Not sure if blogger will let that work. click here Hey, it worked! (Yes my son and dau-in-law did "decorate" the center peep so it has my white beard. ;;sigh;;

Thanks for the idea! It was a total hit.

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...

I thought your recipe fascinating, so I made it, and instead of berries, I made the already planned Orange Chantilly and topped it (he I cook for the grand-babies!) with bright green peeps. I think it was a triumph. It got the ultimate seal of approval, both my sons and my dau-in-law had seconds!

I an going to attempt a link to my picture of it here. Not sure if blogger will let that work. click here Hey, it worked! (Yes my son and dau-in-law did "decorate" the center peep so it has my white beard. ;;sigh;;

Thanks for the idea! It was a total hit.

FWIW
jimB

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

JimB - How WONDERFUL. Now, you'll have to share your recipe for Orange Chantilly. I'll give it a go next time I make it.