Gorgeous spring berries are starting to appear in the markets around here. They are so wonderful to just eat right out of hand, or to add to salads, cereal, yogurt; but if you want to be a little bit decadent and yet not work too hard, here is a family favorite dessert, Pavlova.
I got this version of this classic dessert (named after a famous ballerina!) from an old dinner group friend, Rochelle Stenquist. Pavlova takes a bit of advance planning, but it's really so easy, and so very beautiful and delicious. It's a beautiful round of meringue that is crisp on the outsides, turning to a soft and kind of pillowy center, covered with a layer of softly whipped cream, then layered with gorgeous berries. As it sits, the meringue melts a bit into the whipped cream and softens. The combination is light, not too sweet, and so fresh and wonderful.
If you would like to be really decadent you could add a bit of lovely passion fruit curd, or lemon or lime curd before you layer on the whipped cream, but this is so simple and delicious as is. Later in the week I will post another "cheater" version that is fast and even easier (but this one is really the best).
what you will need:
5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whipping (heavy) cream (or 1 pint)
Fresh berries, washed and very well dried, cut smaller as needed (peaches or apricots are nice, too)