Mulberry Pavlova with Black Corinth Grapes
Pavlova is an easy dessert that consists of a meringue base coated with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit. I used what's in season and flavored the dessert with freshly-picked black mulberries from our garden and garnished it with black Corinth grapes. For a nice contrast in color and flavor, I decorated it with crushed pistachios and toasted coconut flakes.
You can prepare the meringue way in advance and assemble the dessert at the last minute. I prepared the base in the morning and later in the day, I sent the girls to get messy and pick the gorgeous mulberries. Once they were slightly crushed, a delightful, naturally slightly thick syrup oozed out. With just a little assembly, the dessert was ready to be served right away.
Yields: 8 individual desserts4 large egg whites
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (+ extra for dusting)
1 (7-ounce) package sweetened coconut flakes
2¾ teaspoons cornstarch, sifted
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon white vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1¼ cups heavy whipping cream, cold
2 tablespoons pistachio kernels, crushed
3 ounces black Corinth grapes
2 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes
3 cups fresh mulberries, lightly mashed
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Making meringue base:
Place the egg whites in a stainless-steel mixing bowl. Add salt. Using an electric handheld mixer, whisk until you get soft peaks. Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place the bowl filled with whisked eggs on top). Adding 1¾ cups of powdered sugar incrementally, whisk until the mixture thickens and the sugar is well incorporated (don't over-mix or it will become grainy). Check the temperature of the eggs; they should feel warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler, add the extracts. Continue whisking at full speed for 5-10 minutes. Make sure the eggs are whisked until they're back to room temperature.
The egg whites should thick and shiny. Using a spatula, pour in the cornstarch and vinegar and mix until smooth (don't over-mix).
Preparing the baking pans: Using a pencil, draw 8 spaced-out 5" circles on 2 parchment paper sheets. Flip the sheets and line 2 baking pans with the parchment paper.
Baking the meringue: Divide equally into 8 portions and pour the egg white mixture into the center of the circles, using the drawn circles on the parchment paper as a guide. Using the tip of your finger, make sure there are no air bubbles. Let set for about 20 minutes. Once they're sticky but dry to the touch at the top, they're ready to bake. Bake for about 50 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool to room temperature.
Dry toast the coconut flakes in a pan over medium heat until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and let cool to room temperature.
Whip the heavy cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar.
Fit a pastry bag with a 5/8" round-shaped tip and spoon the whipped cream into the bag. Pipe the whipped cream onto the cooled meringue, forming a nest. Spoon the mulberries in the center and drizzle the mulberry juice around the pavlova. Sprinkle with pistachios and coconut flakes. Top with a small mound of black Corinth grapes.
Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a dusting of powdered sugar.
For more recipes using coconut, click on the link.
The vinegar helps maintain the white color of the meringue.Published By: on July 19, 2013.