Individual Mango, Kiwi, and Blueberry Pavlovas with Whipped Cream
Why This Recipe Works
For foolproof pavlova, we switched from the typical French meringue—which requires precise timing when adding the sugar to the egg whites—to a Swiss meringue, which is made by dissolving the sugar in the egg whites as they are heated over a simmering water bath and then whipping the mixture to stiff peaks. Cornstarch and vinegar produced a meringue that was marshmallowy within, with a slight chew at the edge; a generous amount of sugar ensured a crisp exterior. We shaped the meringue into a wide, flat disk and then baked it and let it dry in a turned-off oven. Lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh fruit balanced the meringue's sweetness and made for a beautiful presentation of colors and textures. Letting the finished meringue sit for a few minutes before serving helped soften the crust for neater slices.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|1 ½||cups (10½ ounces) sugar|
|¾||cup (6 ounces) egg whites (5 to 7 large eggs)|
|1 ½||teaspoons distilled white vinegar|
|1 ½||teaspoons cornstarch|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|3||large mangos, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces (3 cups)|
|2||kiwis, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick (about 1 cup)|
|5||ounces (1 cup) blueberries|
|2||cups heavy cream, chilled|
From The Shop
Because eggs can vary in size, measuring the egg whites by weight or volume is essential to ensure that you are working with the correct ratio of egg whites to sugar. Open the oven door as infrequently as possible while the meringues are inside. Don't worry if the meringues crack; it is part of the dessert's charm. The insides of the meringues will remain soft. Do not use frozen blueberries in this recipe.
Total Time: 1½ to 2 hours, plus 1¾ hours cooling
1. For the Meringues: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine sugar and egg whites in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water, making sure that water does not touch bottom of bowl. Whisking gently but constantly, heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and whip mixture on high speed until meringue forms stiff peaks, is smooth and creamy, and is bright white with sheen, about 4 minutes (bowl may still be slightly warm to touch). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with spatula. Add vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla and whip on high speed until combined, about 10 seconds.
3. Spoon about ¼ teaspoon meringue onto each corner of 2 rimmed baking sheets. Line sheets with parchment paper, pressing on corners to secure. Spoon heaping ½ cup meringue into 5 evenly spaced piles on each sheet. Spread each meringue pile with back of spoon to form 3½-inch disk with slight depression in center.
4. Bake meringues until exteriors are dry and crisp and meringues release cleanly from parchment when gently lifted at edges with thin metal spatula, about 50 minutes. Meringues should be quite pale (a hint of creamy color is OK). Turn off oven, prop door open with wooden spoon, and let meringues cool in oven for 1½ hours. Remove from oven and let cool completely before topping, about 15 minutes. (Cooled meringues can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.)
5. For the Topping: Toss all ingredients together in large bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes.
6. For the Whipped Cream: Before serving, whip cream and sugar in chilled bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and whip until whisk leaves trail, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and continue to whip until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume, about 20 seconds longer for soft peaks. If necessary, finish whipping by hand to adjust consistency.
7. Carefully peel meringues away from parchment and place on individual plates or serving platter. Spoon ½ cup whipped cream into center of each meringue. Using slotted spoon, spoon ½ cup topping on top of whipped cream. Let stand for at least 5 minutes or up to 1 hour. Serve, drizzling pavlovas with any juice from bowl.
Sizing Up Eggs
We weighed 36 eggs from three separate cartons of eggs labeled “large.” We weighed each egg whole and then separated each egg and weighed the white. The whole eggs ranged from 53 grams to 66 grams, while the whites ranged from 28 grams to 42 grams. For this reason, we recommend measuring the egg whites by weight or volume—not by egg count—to ensure just the right ratio of egg white to sugar in our meringue.
WHOLE EGGS: Vary in weight by 22%
EGG WHITES: Vary in weight by 40%