I’m sure many of you are already acquainted with this delicate dessert, which takes after the name of a famous Russian dancer Anna Pavlova and dates back to the 1920s. I know that traditionally it should have a round shape, going a little bit inwards around the rim, resembling the tutu skirt of a ballerina. But I always like to be a little off the edge and go for something unconventional. This time I chose to make mini pavlovas in three different shapes. And I chose to use strawberries plus two other fruits that may sound odd as a pavlova topping and which I find are mostly underused in Turkish cuisine. It’s not very often that we see greengages or loquats used in some sort of dessert. As popular as these fruits are when in season, we just eat them as they are.

This is a recipe I have had pending for months now. I even thought of waiting until next Spring, or namely May, which is high season for all of these three fruits I chose to garnish my pavlovas with. But now that New Year’s Eve is approaching I started craving pavlova again and this craving reminded 

me that we can have this dessert anytime of the year and it may very well be topped with any seasonal fruits. Pears or quince poached in spiced red wine would be a perfect topping for a winter pavlova for example. And of course we can always buy frozen fruits to make our compote as we wish.

The idea here was to have different shapes of mini pavlovas that came in different flavors. And of course to display the contrast created by the vivid colors of these lovely and fresh Spring fruits. I’m pretty sure many people who are passionate about  food, and especially desserts, must have tried making pavlova at least once in their lifetime. And you may already have a recipe of your own. And this one is mine. I adapted it from the recipe outlined in one of my favorites books “The Australian Womens’ Weekly- Cook” by making a few little changes and increasing the amount of ingredients. It’s fun to make and even more fun to eat. Plus it makes serving this dessert a whole lot easier 😉

Ingredients

(Yields 12 mini pavlovas)

  • 6 egg whites (from medium sized eggs)
  • 330 gr (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ tsp white vinegar
  • 400 ml fresh cream + ½ tsp vanilla extract +  2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar.

 

Step by step method

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  1. Preheat oven to 120 C (250 F). Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. I drew my geometric shapes onto my  baking paper then placed the drawn side of the paper down on the tray. You can go freehand if you wish but I find that working with a template makes it easier to obtaine even-sized shapes.
  2. Place egg whites in large bowl, add salt and beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Now add sugar gradually, making sure that sugar dissolves after each addition. Finally add cornstarch and vinegar and fold into mixture.
  3.  
    Fill meringue into a large pastry bag and make your shapes onto the prepared templates. Make an extra line on the rim of each shape to obtain a sort of little wall to hold the cream and fruit sauce.
  4. Bake for about an hour or until dry. Once baking time is over, turn off oven and leave the meringues to cool in the oven with to door ajar.
  5. Whip fresh cream with vanilla and sugar prior to serving and keep in the fridge. Just before serving, fill the gaps in the meringues with a couple of good dollops of whipped cream and top with fresh fruits or fruit sauce to your preference.

Greengage sauce
  • 300 gr greengage, pitted
  • 3 heaping tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cornstarch

Place greengage with sugar and lemon juice into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, add salt and mix. Then make a slurry with the cornstarch adding  a couple of tablespoons of water and add this to the saucepan. Mix well and bring to a soft boil. Take off heat, place into a bowl and cover with cling film, so as to touch the surface of the sauce in order to prevent a skin from forming. Wait until sauce has thoroughly cooled down before serving. Proceed with the same method for the other sauces.

Loquat Sauce
  • 300 gr loquats, washed, peeled and pitted
  • 2 heaping tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
Strawberry Sauce
  • 300 gr strawberries, washed, dried and cut in halves or quarters
  • 2-3 tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp cornstarch

Bon Appétit!