Pavlova - inspired by The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarity

I recently read The Husbands Secret, by Liane Moriarty.  There are so many reasons why I think this would be the best book club book ever, but among the top was that the pavlova mentioned would make a great book club snack.  (I really want to form a book club now...)

I looked up the recipe and couldn't believe how simple this is.  It is simply a meringue, topped with whipped cream and fruit.  You bake it on parchment paper on top of a baking sheet, no special pan needed, and clean up is a breeze.  

For the meringue:

4 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
1 cup of sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 t lemon juice

Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar gradually, while it continues to mix.  lightly fold in the cornstach and lemon juice.  

Most recipes tell you to draw a circle on the parchment paper - trace a plate, or something to that sort.  I just plop it down in a circle without drawing anything.  You want to form a loose bowl shape, with a slight indentation in the center.

Bake at 300 degrees for one hour.  After one hour, turn off the oven, but let the meringue in there for another 30 minutes or so.  It should be hard on the outside, and slightly moist on the inside.  (Note - the first one I made I overcooked and it was extra crisp, my husband really liked one - so use your own judgement)  The "perfect" pavlova should be completely pale, not browned at all - but all of mine have ended up lightly browned.  I could turn the oven temperature down..  but I haven't.  

For Whipped Cream, you can buy it premade, or mix half a cup of confectioners sugar with 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream and a  dash of vanilla.  Whip until thick, place on top of the meringue, then top with fruit.

You can easily make these in individual serving sizes too.

Topping Ideas:
I use a frozen Three Berry Mix, because I had it on hand
When raspberries and strawberries are on this year, I'll make this with whichever fruit is in season at the moment.  More ideas:
  • Strawberries and bananas arranged in an overlapping circular pattern
  • Add some melted chocolate to the whipped cream
  • Cook apples or pears until soft, in some butter for the fruit topping
  • lemon curd, raspberries and whipped cream

Foodie Friends Friday