Pav who? You may have never heard of Pavlova before. It’s a dessert named after a Russian ballet dancer, but was invented in New Zealand. Think baked marshmallow meringue served with whipped cream and berries, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. For all the gourmet presentation value and fancy verbiage, this dessert is pretty easy.
The egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt get whisked together—an electric mixer set to medium works well. With the mixer still on, add a spoonful of sugar at a time, letting it integrate fully until the meringue thickens. When you pull the mixer out of the bowl, the meringue should be thick enough to form mini-mountains. On a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, spoon on large mounds of meringue and depress the center of each, forming what will harden into a meringue bowl for the jam. Bake for an hour and twenty minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Forty minutes in, remember to turn the baking sheet so the Pavlova bakes evenly.
For the jam, blueberries (leave a few raw to scatter on top of the finished product), sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest are brought just to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. The mixture will thicken as it cools, forming a delicious jam to top the Pavlova bowls accompanied by a mint-sprig garnish. With an intriguing history, beautiful appearance, and rich, cozy, comfort-food taste, this dessert will make any dinner party one to remember.
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