Note: There are no references to dogs in today's post. Sorry.
I've been graduated from culinary school for over a year now, and I've wanted to try making a pavlova for, oh, I'd say probably the last two years.
Our garden's kale crop is phenomenal, and when I put the all-call out on Facebook, one really good super-duper friend responded with, hey, I'll trade ya - kale for raspberries!?
A pavlova is a meringue dessert with Down Under origins (New Zealand, I believe, gets the formal credit, although Australia claims ownership as well).
Meringues are a confection that consist of mainly egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar. There's a lot of whipping and adding and monitoring that goes into meringue, and perhaps that's why it's something people don't usually attempt. It bakes in the oven at a low temperature (200 F) for nearly two hours. That, in and of itself, might deter others.
The springboard recipe for my pavlova is from Splendid Table: Strawberry-Raspberry Pavlova
I didn't have strawberries on hand, but I had some pretty amazing raspberries. I didn't do the sugar-the-berries-release-the-juice step because these were already pretty juicy. And the meringue and the whipped cream already had sugar in it as well. (Although, in the future, I think I would do a light powdered sugar dusting over the berries) I also skipped the mascarpone and went with a simple whipped cream spread.
And really, this dessert was one of the easiest I've ever done. It's beautiful, airy, light, and crisp-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside. A word, though, this is definitely a presentation piece...once you cut it, it's not as pretty anymore. I think that's probably why when I Googled 'pavlova' Images...90% of the photos that pop up are of whole, uncut pavlovas.
Try it. It's the perfect summer dessert, really.