Baby Pavlova with Strawberries & Cream

Meringues frighten me. But they do not frighten Ronne. Thank goodness for fearless Ronne taking on this  divine, darling and delicious dessert.

When Susie posted her temptingly tasty recipe for Grilled Caprese Sandwiches, I did a little Snoopy dance. That snack featured so many yummy goodies – creamy cheese, great bread, savory herbs, and butter. But one ingredient rose to the top of my ‘favorites’ list: Balsamic Reduction. Trust me, if you’ve not tried this sweet, tangy smile-inducing delight yet, you need to. It’s divine. Heavenly. And it’s perfect on desserts too – like these light-as-a-feather Mini-Pavlovas with Strawberries & Cream.

The first time I made these delicate meringue gems, I was hosting a house full of college girls for the season finale of The Bachelor. The dessert was a bigger hit than the show.

There are many recipes for Pavlova, but none is as easy and tasty as this one (thanks allrecipes.com). If you’re not a strawberry fan, you can top these little meringues with flavored whipped creams, lemon curd, or chocolate mousse! Be sure to follow the directions closely – even the waiting part. It’s worth it!

Baby Pavlova

3 egg whites * 1 pinch salt * 1 c. white sugar * 1 T cornstarch * 1 t. lemon juice, vanilla, or other flavoring (be adventurous!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw circles on the parchment with pencil. An easy way to get the perfect circle is to trace a bowl, plate, or cup. This recipe makes one 9” round or 6-7 3” rounds (perfect for individual servings).

In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar gradually, while continuing to whip. Make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch; lightly fold into meringue with flavoring.

Spread a layer of meringue to fit circle on parchment, approximately 1/4 inch thick. With remainder of mixture, pipe or spoon swirls around the edges to form a shallow bowl shape. If you don’t want to be too fancy, these will bake just fine if you simply dollop them on the parchment.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes for small rounds or 1 hour for large round (or until ever-so-lightly toasty). Turn off oven and leave the meringues inside.

Grab a book, take a bubble bath, or catch up on the latest episode of Iron Chef America. Removing the meringues after about 30 minutes will give you a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside treat. Leaving them in the oven until it’s completely cook will give you a crispy-all-the-way-through cookie. Both are amazing.

Top your Pavlova with whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries. Drizzle (or swoosh as shown!) with that amazing reduction. Savor the crisp, creamy, sweet, tart, fruity goodness – and share with a friend!

 written by ronne