I make a lot of ice cream and since ice cream custard only requires egg yolks, I’m always looking for clever ways to use up my egg whites. Meringues have always been high on my list but they’ve taken a backseat to my new favorite of late: mini pavlovas.
Originally named for a Russian ballerina, these decadent treats are the perfect mix of a crunchy exterior and a soft pillowy interior. If you’re a fan of crisp meringues and gooey marshmallows, think of this as the union of the two!
The first week of July is a personal favorite of mine for a couple of reasons, most of which revolve around the fact that there are so many reasons to celebrate with friends, food and festive drinks. Starting with Canada day on July first, which my parents always throw a big party for, all the way up to July fourth, which I like to spend celebrating with friends, there’s a lot of red, white and blue EVERYTHING. Y’all know I love to bake on theme so I whip out my favorite white jeans, and serve up festive desserts. This of course means that I’m always on the lookout for more red, white and blue sweet treats!
I know we’re pretty far away from July but I’m a planner so these berry good mini pavlovas are being added to my list of things that will definitely be recreated in a few months time. They are the perfect gluten-free (and dairy-free if you skip the whipped cream) treat and their small size makes them easy to make in large quantities for crowds.
There’s something so simple about these mini pavlovas which is likely why I’m so obsessed with them. The key to pavlovas is controlling the temperature to make sure it doesn’t get too hot. If that happens your pavlova will start to darken and you’ll lose the white cloud-like appearance. The second part of controlling the temperature is letting them adjust to room temperature as slowly as possible. If you pull the mini pavlovas from the hot oven right when they are done cooking, you’ll hear them audibly start cracking. Leave them in the oven for an hour after you finish baking to let the temperature around them cool down without ruining the integrity of that crisp exterior you worked so hard to get.
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ? teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup mixed berries
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer on high until soft peaks form. Mixing constantly, add in ½ cup of the sugar, one tablespoon at a time and then mix until stiff peaks form and the eggs start to look shiny. Add in the salt. Cornstarch and vinegar. Turn the mixer on for a few seconds to just incorporate the new ingredients.
- Transfer eggs to a piping bag and pipe 6 inch nests.
- Bake for 1 ½ hours. Don’t open the door when you are done! Leave in the oven for another hour to cool.
- Whip the heavy cream and the remaining sugar until peaks form. Top each pavlova with whipped cream and berries. Serve as soon as you top with whipped cream.