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Yield: 1 pavlova shell

Servings: serves 8

This meringue-based shell is a blank canvas for all sorts of seasonal desserts. Try sautéed apples or pears in fall, or cranberry compote in winter.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup plus 2 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 110
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 0
  • Fat (g): 0
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 100
  • Carbohydrates (g): 27
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 26
  • Protein (g): 2

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 275°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and line with
    parchment. Draw a 9-inch circle in the center of the parchment, then turn the paper over (you’ll still see the circle).
  • Combine 2 tsp. of the sugar with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer), combine the egg whites, lemon juice, and salt, and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1 cup sugar, about 1 Tbs. at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch-sugar mixture, then the vanilla, and scrape down the bowl. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 1 minute more.
  • Pile the meringue in the center of the circle on the parchment, and use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it into a 9-inch round about 2 inches high around the edge with a slightly concave center about 6 inches wide.
  • Put the meringue in the oven, and reduce the heat to 250°F. Bake until crisp, dry, and slightly tan, rotating the pan about halfway through, about 1-1/2  hours total. (The meringue will puff a little during baking.) Turn the oven off, and cool the meringue gradually with the oven door ajar.
  • You can make the shell 1 day ahead and leave it in the closed, cooled oven, or store it completely cooled for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tip

To make mini pavlova shells, draw eight 3-1/2-inch circles on a sheet of parchment, and divide the meringue evenly among the circles. Bake as directed above.

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