Friday, August 24, 2007

Pavlova and Pie

Here it is... my demon semi-conquered... the pavlova.

I have been trying for the longest time to make this dessert, only to have pathetically flat meringues as a result. My latest attempt involved Gale Gand's recipe from the Food Network. She's from way back in 1999. Wasn't bobblehead-ish enough, I guess, so she's not on anymore. The recipe's fine, but even cracking the oven door collapsed the meringue. I turned off the oven and went to bed. That resulted in a firmer meringue, but still collapsed.

Next time, I'm going to bake it at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, bring it down to 300 and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes and turn off the oven and let it cool completely with the door closed. Gale's use of cream of tartar and cornstarch helped stabilize the meringue a lot.

The pavlova was topped with a lemon cream (Trader Joe's lemon curd, whipping cream, sugar) and fresh berries. The lemon cream began with 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks. About 1/3 cup (add to taste) of lemon curd was added and the mixture whipped some more. Sugar (3 tbsp.) was added to take the tart bite out of the curd. After all of that, it still didn't seem to have a nice kick, so I added a tiny pinch of salt, which really brought out all of the tart, sweet, and creamy flavors. I whipped it a little more, but it was still somewhat runny when I put it in the fridge. It had about 6 hours to set up and it set up very nicely into a thick, frothy cream.

The berries were from Trader Joe's and were pretty good. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

The second dessert I made (as backup in case the pavlova totally went to crap) was another apple pie.

One of my best looking ones yet. This one was really easy because I already had the crust in the fridge. All I had to do was peel and slice the apples and make the crumble top. It took half an hour to assemble and 40 minutes to bake. Started at 7am and finished at 8:15am.

The pavlova yielded 6 egg yolks from 2 attempts. Just enough for a tiramisu.

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