Pavlova, Anyone?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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It may be cloudy and drizzly outside, but despite the dreary weather ... it's officially spring today! Time to open the windows and smell the blossoming flowers. Er, well, it might be a little early for that. I guess I just have to settle for the fact that the light lasts longer these days.

In the optimistic vein of warmer days to come, I found myself thinking about pavlova -- a decidedly summery dessert. In fact, in the episode of Barefoot Contessa that originally inspired me to make it, Ina Garten brings this mixed berry pavlova to a beach birthday party. It's light and fresh, which is perfect for those really scorching days.

I first made this on a windy, 30-degree winter day; the polar opposite of the images that pavlova conjures. But I had a few egg whites leftover from making some orange curd, frozen blueberries leftover from making muffins, and raspberry jam just sitting in the cupboard -- how can you argue against that confluence of available ingredients?

Meringue can be a little tricky to make (it tends to collpase easily), but this recipe/method works really well. I did heavily modify the raspberry topping in this recipe -- the evidence of its overpowering saccharinity is in the ingredient list. I found that boiling the raspberry jam alone was topping enough. Pavlova doesn't keep terribly well, but that was hardly a problem in this case.


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