Every time I make meringue, it strikes me as being a bit magical – the way that simply beating together egg whites and sugar turns into a frothy bowl of snowy white peaks, and then baking in a low, slow oven produces airy clouds of crunchy sweetness. Magic, I tell you. These pavlovas are flecked with vanilla beans, and serve as a light-as-air vessel for whipped cream and whatever fruit happens to be in season. At this time of year, that’s pretty much everything, so I filled these with strawberries, blueberries, peaches and cherries for a shock of vivid color. And by the way, these pavlovas may look like a fancy dinner party dessert, but the truth is, they really only require about 10 minutes of hands-on prep time. (Shhh…let’s just keep that our little secret.) Keep reading for more eye candy and the recipe…
Plates and napkins by Anthropologie.
The meringues, just waiting to be filled…
Individual Vanilla Bean Pavlovas
*makes 8 pavlovas
- 4 egg whites, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped (with a little sugar)
- Fresh fruit for garnish – raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, peaches or cherries
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees, adjust oven rack to the center and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium high until thick. With motor running, add sugar very gradually. Add salt, cream of tartar, and seeds from vanilla bean. Continue beating on high until mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Drop 8 scoops of mixture (about 1/3 cup each) onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. With the back of a spoon, make a well in the center of each meringue.
- Bake for 2 hours, then turn off oven and allow meringues to cool in the oven for 2 hours.
- To assemble: top each meringue with a dollop of whipped cream, then top with fresh fruit. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and serve!
*images by Camille.