Here's a simple dessert for your Indepedence Day celebration. Plan ahead - the meringue disks need to bake in a low oven for 90 minutes, then rest in the oven overnight. Then all you have to do is top them with freshly whipped cream and berries. One word of caution - don't attempt to make meringue in high humidity (it's very humid outside here, but we have the ac on in the house so I didn't have any trouble).
Red White and Blue Pavlovas
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- a pinch of fine salt
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
- 3 cups fresh whipped cream (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 225F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla bean paste, and a pinch of salt; use a whisk to mix the ingredients and break up the eggs until they're frothy.
- Place bowl on stand mixer and use whip attachment to whip egg whites until they reach soft peaks; sprinkle sugar in slowly and continue whipping until the whites are glossy and they reach the stiff peak stage.
- Place meringue in a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip or use a spoon to form 4-inch circles of meringue on parchment paper lined sheet pans.
- Bake meringue disks for 90 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow meringues to cool completely without opening the door (I often leave them in there overnight).
- Store in an airtight container. Makes at least 12 4-inch meringue disks.
To Make 6 Pavlovas
- Place 6 meringue disks on dessert plates; top each with 1/2 cup whipped cream and 1/3 cup mixed berries. Serve right away.
Note: for best results, do not attempt to make meringues during high humidity weather.
To make whipped cream: combine 1 1/2 cups heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar and 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Use a whisk or hand held electric beater to whip until doubled in volume.