How to make
8large egg whites, room temperature
2-1/2 cups (625 mL)superfine sugar (see tip, below)
4 tsp (20 mL)cornstarch
2 tsp (10 mL)white vinegar, cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 cups (500 mL)chopped shelled unsalted pistachios, divided, optional (Tip: Substitute with any chopped nut, such as hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, peanuts or cashews.)
- PC Black Label Honeycomb in Wildflower Honey, honeycomb cut into small chunks
- Whipped cream
- Jam, such as strawberry or raspberry jam, or stewed or roasted fruit, such as stewed rhubarb or roasted strawberries
- Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, mango, kiwi or orange segments
- Fresh herbs, such as fresh mint or basil leaves
- Lemon, lime or grapefruit curd
- Coconut chips or toasted shredded coconut
- Shaved milk, dark or white chocolate
How to make
- Step 1
Pavlovas: Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC). Line large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. (You may need more than 1 baking sheet.) Using rim of 3- to 4-inch (8 to 10 cm) wide glass, draw circles on parchment (as many as you can fit), leaving at least 1/2-inch (1 cm) between each. Turn parchment over.
- Step 2
Beat egg whites on medium-high speed in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, or in large bowl using hand mixer, until smooth, velvety and soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t overbeat; lift the beaters often toward the end of this process to check for soft peaks.
- Step 3
Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, beating well between each addition. Scape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and sugar is fully dissolved, 4 to 6 minutes. To check if sugar is dissolved, rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers – it should feel smooth and not gritty. If it feels gritty, continue beating, checking often.
- Step 4
Gently fold in cornstarch, vinegar and 1-2/3 cups (417 mL) pistachios (if using) with rubber spatula just until combined; do not overmix. Spoon meringue into outlines on parchment paper. Using back of small spoon, spread meringue to edges of outlines, then use back of spoon to create a small divot in the centre of each. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup (83 mL) pistachios (if using).
- Step 5
Transfer to middle oven rack; immediately reduce oven temperature to 250ºF (120ºC). Bake until tops are crisp and dry, about 35 minutes. Turn off oven; leave pavlovas in oven to cool 1 hour. Transfer baking sheet to cooling rack; let cool completely on baking sheet, about 20 minutes.
- Step 6
Toppings: If using, drizzle honey over pavlovas and spoon whipped cream and jam or stewed or roasted fruit into centres; scatter honeycomb, fresh fruit and herbs over top, or top as desired.
Superfine sugar is best for this recipe because it dissolves easily into the egg whites. If you don’t have it, pulse granulated sugar into a fine powder in a food processor or blender. Alternatively, you can spread granulated sugar on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven for about 10 minutes, then gradually beat the hot sugar into the egg whites as directed in Step 3 – heating granulated sugar helps it to dissolve easily.
- Try this:
If you have leftover pavlovas, break into chunks and layer in a parfait dish with sugar-tossed sliced strawberries and whipped cream.