Today I'm sharing a link to a truly delicious recipe for Strawberry Pavlova. The recipe is courtesy of Teeswater egg farmers Peter and Adriana Van Zeeland. I've enjoyed this dessert a few times already this summer!
What is a Pavlova?
A Pavlova is made by topping a circle of slow-baked meringue with whipped cream (or sometimes lemon curd) and fruit. The combination of meringue, which is crisp on the exterior and marshmallowy soft on the inside, and the softness of the whipped cream and the sweet, flavourful fruit is really, really good!
Pavlova is believed to have been created for and named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, although there is some controversy whether the dessert originated in Australia or New Zealand.
The Van Zeeland's Strawberry Pavlova
The Van Zeeland's Strawberry Pavlova is especially tasty made with Ontario strawberries which are in season right now, although the season is rapidly (and unfortunately!) coming to a close. Once local strawberries are no longer available, try making the Pavlova with other types or combinations of fruits as they come into season.
The meringue base can be made days, even a couple weeks, in advance, but once the Pavlova is made, it won't keep longer than a few hours. If you don't think you'll be able to polish it off in that time, you can refrigerate it and eat it the next day, but be aware the texture of the meringue will soften.
The recipe makes 8 to 10 servings; if you're feeding fewer than that, you can make small meringue shells, use the quantity of them you'll need to create individual-sized Pavlovas, and save the rest for another time. Large or small meringue shells will keep for a few weeks in a tightly closed container.
Ideally, the baked meringue should be an off-white or cream colour. If it seems to be browning while baking, turn the heat down a little. And if in the end it turns out a light golden or light brown colour, don't worry. It will still taste delicious. If the meringue shell cracks a bit while baking or filling with the whipped cream and fruit, don't worry about that either. It will still taste wonderful!
Unless your home is well air-conditioned, avoid making meringue on a hot, humid day or you'll find that the meringue will absorb moisture from the air and lose its crisp exterior.