Strawberry–Blood Orange Pavlovas

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6 pavlovas Medium
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Ingredients (11)

For the pavlovas:

  • 4 large egg whites with no traces of yolk, at room temperature
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the fruit compote:

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 blood oranges, peel and pith removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Summary

Named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova after her 1920s tour through Australia, pavlovas are crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside meringues topped with fruit. We came up with this version to make the best of winter strawberries: vanilla-scented pavlovas, topped with a lovely compote of firm, tangy strawberries and peeled, chopped blood oranges. A bit of balsamic vinegar deepens the color and adds some complex sweetness.

Instructions

Make the pavlovas:
  1. 1Heat the oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 2Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (make sure both the bowl and whisk are clean, dry, and absolutely grease-free). Whisk the whites on medium speed until they begin to lighten in color and only small bubbles remain, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and very slowly add the sugar in a thin, continuous stream. Whisk until firm, shiny peaks form, resembling marshmallow crème (this is the meringue), about 3 minutes.
  3. 3Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the cornstarch through a fine-mesh strainer into the meringue. Drizzle with the vinegar and vanilla and fold them into the meringue with a rubber spatula until no streaks of vanilla remain, being careful not to deflate the whites.
  4. 4Using the rubber spatula, form 6 individual rounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. 5Bake until the pavlovas are firm to the touch but slightly soft in the middle, about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, place the baking sheet on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Run a thin metal spatula under the pavlovas to loosen.

Make the fruit compote:

  1. 1While the pavlovas are baking, in a sauté pan over medium heat, simmer the strawberries and blood oranges with the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until it reaches a jamlike consistency, about 10 minutes.
  2. 2Cool to room temperature and spoon over the pavlovas.
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