“I absolutely LOVE Pavlova. It’s the perfect combination of crispy, chewy, creamy, and fruity. It’s light, easy to make, and beautiful too, so make sure you show it off before cutting into it. This one is special, using spring ingredients, celebrating the fact that winter is over and it’s safe to come out of the house! It’s also portable, in parts, so sometimes I bring it over to friends’ houses and assemble it right there in front of them. Helpers accepted, and there are always a few willing interns.” –Gale Gand
F&B is honored to have Gale Gand, nationally acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, teacher, entrepreneur, and mother share one of her favorite seasonal dessert recipes with us. She has been recognized as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation and by Bon Appetite magazine and has been inducted into the Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame.
Ingredients for Shell:
- ½ cup egg whites, at room temperature (from about 4 eggs)
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for Topping:
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Roasted Rhubarb (recipe follows)
- 2 half pints raspberries
- 12 fresh violets, Johnny Jump Ups, or other edible flowers
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), whip egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a clean, dry bowl until foamy. Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and vinegar and continue whipping until stiff, smooth, and glossy, about 4 minutes more.
3. On a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a sheet pan, use a pencil to draw or trace a circle 8 inches in diameter (I use my Kitchen Aid bowl). Line the sheet pan with the parchment, pencil side down (you should still be able to see the circle). Spoon the egg whites into the circle, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top and sides of the disk.
4. Bake in center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top and the surface is lightly browned to the color of café au lait, about 45 minutes more. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open, and let the pavlova cool in the oven at least 30 minutes, to room temperature. This ensures a gradual cooling, which protects the delicate meringue.
5. Place the meringue on a cake plate. Whip the cream and sugar together until stiff. Spoon it in the center of the cooled pavlova and spread out to within ½ inch of the edge. Cover with the rhubarb-raspberry mixture. Dot with flowers. To serve, slice into wedges with a serrated knife.
- 4 long stalks rhubarb, trimmed and washed (8-10 ounce bag of frozen is OK too)
- ¼ cup light-bodied red wine
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped, or ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut rhubarb into 1-inch sections. In a bowl, combine the wine, sugar, vanilla bean, corn starch, and cinnamon. Add the rhubarb and toss to coat. Pour into a casserole or gratin dish and roast until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. When the fruit is done, remove it and let cool, then gently fold in the raspberries. Use to top pavlova.