I love meringue, whether piled high on top of a pie, or piped into delicious airy cookies. From the first bite of my mom's lemon meringue pie, I was hooked. With lots of fresh berries available at the market, now is a perfect time to whip up a pavlova. Your friends will think you're a talented pastry chef, but secretly you'll know just how easy it was to prepare. Here are a few helpful tips.
Always use the freshest eggs you can, as they whip up better.
For those of you who follow me on facebook, this little ceramic egg dish was one of my purchases from Fishs Eddy during my recent trip to NYC. A perfect place to rest your eggs while they come to room temperature.
Stainless steel or glass bowls are best for whipping the egg whites - avoid plastic.
You can mound, or pipe the egg whites onto your parchment paper. I prefer to pipe them, after drawing circles with a pencil on the reverse side of the paper as a guide. I pipe along the outside of the circle, fill in the middle and then make a top outside row so I have a well to spoon the berries into. (Like little nests.)
I use a large star tip and a No. 14 size pastry bag. By the way, if you're looking for the best pastry tube set to use for frosting cupcakes, or piping meringues, cookie or pastry dough, this is the set to purchase. I use mine all the time.
Plan ahead as the meringues take 1 1/2 hours to bake and an additional 2 hours to rest in the oven. They can be baked the day before and kept in an air tight container.
There are many recipes available on the web. I like to use this one for the basic meringue. For my berry topping I create a raspberry sauce by bringing to a boil 1/2 pint of raspberries, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam & 1 tbsp water. After boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for a few more minutes, then puree. You can top the meringue with sweetened whipped cream, or for a lighter version, just spoon on a bit of the the sauce and top with assorted fresh berries. Almost too pretty to eat!