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Recipe

Mini Passionfruit Pavlovas

Mary Ellen Bartley

Yield: Yields 30 bite-size pavlovas

These tiny mouthfuls are a scaled-down version of the classic Australian dessert: a crunchy meringue shell, sweet-tart passionfruit cream filling, and colorful fresh-fruit garnish. Use whatever fruit is in season to garnish the Pavlovas, from a few small berries to a slice of kiwi or starfruit.

Ingredients

For the meringue:

  • Scant 3/4 cup egg whites (from 5 large eggs), totally yolk-free
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-2/3 cups superfine sugar
  • 5 tsp. cornstarch, more for the baking sheet
  • 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 2 cups whipping cream, chilled
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/4 cup passionfruit purée or pulp
  • About 3 cups cut-up fresh fruit or berries
  • Mint sprigs and confectioners’ sugar to decorate

Preparation

Make the meringues:

  • Position the oven rack just below the middle of the oven. (If you have an electric oven, put a shallow pan of water on or close to the bottom of the oven.) Heat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment. Dust the sheet with cornstarch to help the meringue come off easily after baking.

    Run a large, stainless-steel mixing bowl under hot water to warm it. Dry the inside thoroughly, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set the bowl in the mixer and surround the base of the bowl with a warm, damp dishtowel to keep the egg whites warm. Whip the whites at medium-high speed until they’re stiff and start to pull away from the sides of the bowl; they’ll look like they’re about to separate. Immediately start adding the superfine sugar by sprinkling it in slowly, about 1 Tbs. at a time; incorporating the whole 1-2/3 cups should take about 10 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with the last 2 Tbs. of sugar and add them together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, continue whipping, and slowly add the vinegar and vanilla. Whip for another minute. The mixture should be extremely glossy and fluffy.

    Using a 1-oz. ice-cream scoop or large spoon, scoop 2 Tbs. of meringue onto the parchment for each Pavlova and make a small depression in the center of each.Put the Pavlovas in the heated oven and immediately turn down the heat to 250°F. Bake, without opening the door for at least the first 20 minutes, until they’re crisp and dry looking on the outside with just a hint of ivory color, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the Pavlovas from the oven and put the baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Fill and serve the Pavlovas:

  • Up to 1 hour before serving, whip the chilled cream in the mixer or by hand until it holds soft peaks. Add the honey and whip another few seconds to blend, until the cream holds slightly firmer peaks. Carefully fold in the passionfruit puree with a spatula until it’s mostly combined but a few streaks are left showing. Carefully peel off the meringues from the parchment and set them on a serving platter or plates. Fill the centers with the passionfruit cream and top with fresh fruit. Decorate with mint sprigs and a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar. Keep cool and serve within 1 hour.

Make Ahead Tips

You can bake the meringues up to two days ahead. Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to assemble the dessert.

You can also make one large Pavlova: Spread the meringue on the prepared baking sheet into a 7-in. round, about 3 inches high. Make a shallow depression in the center to allow for the filling. As with the minis, turn the heat down to 250°F just after it goes into the oven. Bake until the shell is crisp and dry looking on the outside, about 1-1/2 hours, then turn off the heat and leave it in the oven, with the door cracked, for another 30 minutes. Fill and decorate the meringue just as for the minis.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • glochick2 | 01/01/2014

    This is a no-fail recipe that can even work in humid conditions. Depending on how long you cook them, you can get a nice crisp outside and a spongy interior, lending themselves to gooey goodness I have used this recipe to make large Pavlovas as well.

  • tlh_cooks | 01/01/2012

    I found they were a bit chewy as cooked per direction. I baked them an extra hour at 175degF and they became crunchy. Much easier to eat and still delicious. They are a really nice alternative dessert, especially for gluten sensitive individuals.

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