Strawberry Kiwi Pavlovas
With Valentine’s day around the corner, these sweet desserts are perfect to enjoy with that special someone in your life, or any time of the year. Pavlovas are elegant yet light, made with whipped egg whites and sugar, then topped with cream and fresh fruit. The perfect light dessert!
Use any combination of fresh fruit on top, mixed berries are a great choice. You can make the shells ahead of time and store them in an air tight container, or even freeze them.
Meringues can be tricky to make, the key to success when making meringues is to start with clean, metal mixing bowls and whisks. They should be free of all traces of grease. Egg whites should be room temperature and they say it’s best to avoid making these on a rainy day. I played around with a few different meringue recipes to get the perfect shell. So many, in fact that I forgot where I found this recipe to give the proper credit. These meringues have a tint of brown due to the dark vanilla extract I used, but if you use white vanilla extract, yours should come out looking like a soft billowy cloud.
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
- 3 kiwis, sliced
- 1-1/2 cups fat free whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 6 (4-inch) circles on paper, I used a plastic lid as my guide. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape.
Beat egg whites, cornstarch, and salt at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until thick and glossy. Add vanilla, beating well.
Divide egg white mixture evenly among the 6 drawn circles. Shape meringues into nests with 1-inch sides using the back of a spoon. Place meringues in oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 300°; bake 1 hour. Turn oven off; cool meringues in closed oven at least 4 hours or until completely dry. (Meringues are done when the surface is dry and meringues can be removed from paper without sticking to fingers.) Carefully remove meringue nests from paper.
Assemble the pavlovas by topping with 1/4 cup whipped cream in each nest, then arrange fresh fruit on top.
The meringue shells can be kept frozen for up to two months. Remove them from freezer before you assemble the pavlovas, no reheating required.