Thanks to social distancing, our summer days are looking much different this year. In an effort to make these days a little more memorable, I’m sharing individual Summer Fruit Pavlovas with you to enjoy at home for an extra special experience. A meringue-based dessert, pavlovas have a thin crisp crust and a soft interior that’s topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. They’re effortless to make with an end result that’s phenomenal in texture and flavor. These elegant showstoppers are paired with vanilla bean flecked whipped cream and a trio of summer fruits that shine in every bite.
In full disclosure, I’m not usually the biggest fan of meringue based desserts. In my experience, they can often be dry, hard, and overly sweet which is never pleasant to eat. Keeping that in mind, this recipe was designed to have a delicate crust with an ultra-pillowy interior of meringue that’s not too sweet. Pair it with any of your favorite summer fruits and be generous with that serving of fresh whipped cream. Enjoy a little of each piece in every bite for a truly special experience. One of my favorite recipes to date for Feast Magazine’s Pantry Staple Sweets, my hope is that you’ll love it as much as I do.
Helpful Tips For This Recipe
*Depending on the humidity in your home, it may take 15 minutes or more to whip the meringue to stiff peaks. Keep the mixer on high speed, exercise a little patience, and it will eventually get there.
Summer Fruit Pavlovas
Makes 6 individual pavlovas
3 (100g) large egg whites
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (188g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of cream of tartar
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 325F (165C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, cornstarch, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over a double boiler (a saucepan with 1-inch of simmering water) and whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is very warm to the touch (135F-140F / 57C-60C), about 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, 10-15 minutes.
Fit a piping bag with a large round pastry tip. Transfer meringue to piping bag and pipe six 3-inch rounds onto the lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet into the oven and turn off the oven. Let meringues dehydrate for 60 minutes, then allow to cool completely in the oven.
To serve, place each meringue into a bowl and top with a mound of vanilla bean whipped cream, cherries, sliced peaches, and raspberries. Serve immediately.
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
1 cup (240g) heavy cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
In a bowl, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds. Using a hand-held mixer, beat mixture until it forms medium-peaks.
Fresh Summer Fruits
1 cup (166g) Rainier Cherries, pitted and halved
3 peaches or nectarines, pitted and sliced
1 cup (170g) raspberries