RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
Okay, if you are a fan of The Great British Baking Show, this is really Mary Berry’s Holiday Pavlova Wreath, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me “borrowing” it for this week’s Rise & Shine segment.
As Mary has explained the holidays are all about baking, and I could not agree more. If you love to bake or a novice, there is something about holiday baking that makes this time of year so unique. This also the time of year when flour, eggs, and sugar really start to weigh me down… figuratively and literally. Coming off of Thanksgiving and immediately diving into Christmas, the idea of making yet another cake, bread, pie, or cookie, for a client, challenges my “oh that sounds good!” inner spark.
The pavlova is a great dessert, no matter the time of year. Besides being light and airy without using all of that flour, it is also relatively inexpensive to make, and however, you build it up with fresh fruit and layers makes a beautiful presentation.
So let’s get to it, Shall we? (said in my best Mary Berry voice)
HOLIDAY PAVLOVA WREATH serves 10-12
The Baked Meringue Ring
6 large egg whites, room temp (not a speck of yolk in this …your meringue will not build)
1 2/3 cups (12 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
The Pavlova Cream Filling (whipped cream/Chantilly Cream)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted first to remove clumps)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Fresh berries/fruit of choice (I used blood orange segments, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranate seeds, and lady apples/crab apples)
Fresh mint to garnish
Preheat your convection oven to 275 degrees. On a large sheet of parchment paper draw out a 12” circle and then a 6” circle on the inside to use as a template for the holiday wreath. * Not all ovens are the same size, so a 12” meringue wreath may not fit into your oven. I recommend pulling out your center oven rack or using a baking sheet that fits into your oven. Let either of these be your guide when determining how large your wreath is going to be.
In a large mixing bowl add your egg whites. Meringue will build if there is a speck of oil/fat involved. This means a sparkling clean mixing bowl, clean whip attachment, and not a hint of egg yolk in your egg whites. Start mixing your egg whites on medium-high speed until frothy and “cloud” like. Turn up the speed and start sprinkling in your granulated sugar. Add all the sugar until you have a thick and glossy “marshmallow” like meringue.
In a small dish combine the white vinegar and the cornstarch. Mix into a slurry and pour into your meringue. Give it a good mix to combine.
Place the parchment paper ring onto a flat baking sheet that fits in your oven. Spoon out the meringue onto the parchment ring that you created… and this does not have to be perfectly smooth in any sense, just make sure there is even height and thickness around the entire ring. Through the center of the circle create a well. This well will be filled with the pavlova cream after it has baked.
Place the meringue in your preheated oven and immediately drop the temperature down to 250 degrees. Bake the meringue for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on your oven. You want the ring to be airy and crisp. Do not open the oven to check until after one hour. Let the meringue cool in the oven at least one hour to overnight.
In a clean chilled mixing bowl add your heavy whipping cream and begin to whip. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar and mix in on medium-high speed. Halfway through adding your powdered sugar add the vanilla. Continue whisking the cream until all of the sugar and vanilla are in, and the whipped cream is stiff. Over-whipping will break the cream then you will start making butter… so watch it!
Remove the meringue ring from the oven carefully. YOU WILL HAVE CRACKS so don’t panic. The beauty of this dessert the whipped cream and fruit hide a lot!
Spoon the whipped cream into the well of your meringue evenly. Top your pavlova with a mix of fresh fruit and berries… think COLOR! Quartered strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are nice but play around with fruit choices. Bejewel your holiday wreath with as many colors as you can.
Garnish with fresh mint and serve right away. This makes a fantastic holiday centerpiece for your next Christmas Brunch or cocktail party! Enjoy!