Black Berry Bourbon Peach Pavlova

So, if you want a stunner, this is it! Words will not be able to express the depth of flavor that this dessert had. Named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1920s, this dessert has become an important part of Russia’s national cuisine. It used to be considered the dessert of royalty. I fancy myself a blue collar queen so, what the hell!

This is another meringue dessert, but don’t be intimidated. This stuff is easy.

You will need the following:

Meringue shell

  • 6oz superfine sugar
  • 4 large egg whites

Vanilla Bean Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. superfine sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean seeds

Fruit Topping

  • 8oz fresh blackberries
  • 2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (i kept skins on, you may remove if you prefer)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 vanilla bean seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch disolved in 2 Tbsp. water

Directions:

Meringue

  1. Pour sugar onto a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and place into a 200 degree oven for 5 minutes. IMG_2193IMG_2192
  2. Whisk 4 egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl or stand mixer.
  3. Once whites have formed peaks, sugar should be ready. Add sugar slowly and bring whites back up to stiff peaks. Meringue should be shiny and not gritty. Heating the sugar creates a more stable and elastic meringue. IMG_2194
  4. Transfer meringue into a piping bag or a large ziploc and snip a substatial hole in the corner. No tip is needed for this.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment and draw a circle about 8 inches as a guide. Fill in the circle with meringue about and inch thick and then begin to build up the walls around the edge of your meringue disk. When finished it should look like a crater. IMG_2196
  6. Place into a 300 degree oven for 50 minutes. Turn oven off and allow meringue shell to cool with the oven door cracked for at least 2 hours or over night.

Vanilla Bean Cream

  1. Freeze a bowl and mixer whisk in the freezer for about 20 minutes before whipping cream.
  2. Pour whipping cream into cold bowl and whisk at high speed until stiff.
  3. Add vanilla bean seeds and sugar, whisk until incorporated. Do not over beat the cream or you will get butter. Place in fridge until ready to assemble the Pavlova. IMG_2202 IMG_2203 IMG_2207

Fruit topping

  1. Place all ingredients except cornstarch and water into a deep skillet or sauce pan and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Even though you’ve scraped the seeds from the vanilla bean, there is a ton of flavor still in the pod. Go ahead and allow the pod to cook along with the fruit. Discard once cooked. IMG_2204
  2. Once the fruit is tender and saucy, add the cornstarch and water mixture. Continue to simmer until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The fruit mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

Assembly

  1. Once completely cooled, the meringue shell will have a hard outside and the center will crack and cave in. That’s normal! Remove it gently from the parchment paper and place onto your cake stand or serving tray. IMG_2206
  2. Next, spoon or pipe on the whipped cream. If you use a piping bag (no tip again) you can get into the cracks a little better. Fill the “crater” with cream, leaving a concave bowl shape to receive the topping.
  3. Gently spoon on the fruit topping, allowing the juices to spill ever so slightly, over the edges of your shell. IMG_2215
  4. Serve and take all of the compliments that come with being a badass. IMG_2214

A few things I’d like to share with you… First, this dessert does NOT travel well! IMG_2238

Next, I’m making all of these things to share with you guys and it’s exciting and fun. I felt genuine joy when I finished this Pavlova. But seriously, I can’t eat all of this shit! So, I took it with me to a 9 year olds birthday party. There were five women there and we had a lovely meal prepared by my girlfriend. It was raining cats and dogs and I put my Pavlova, my dessert for royalty, perched upon it’s crystal cake stand, in the middle of a picnic table, under an E-Zup, with five red plastic spoons and we tore that shit up. The moral of this story is that fancy is as fancy does and that night, we was fancy. Bon Apetit, my lovelies.

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