James Peterson, author of Kitchen Simple (Ten Speed Press, 2011), reminds home cooks that good food isn’t necessarily complicated. In his most recent book, Peterson offers a diverse collection of more than 200 satisfying, quick and easy recipes. The following excerpt, from “Desserts,” is for a Simple Pavlova recipe.
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This is essentially a cake made with a special meringue that contains corn starch. It is traditionally topped with whipped cream and strawberries. Because this cake is very sweet, you may want to substitute a pint of sour cream or crème fraîche for the traditional whipped cream.
Simple Pavlova Recipe
• 5 egg whites
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 5 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 pint strawberries, stemmed and quartered
• Confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Combine the egg whites and salt in a large bowl. Add the cream of tartar (if you are not using a copper bowl). Beat until the egg whites form medium peaks—the meringue sags slightly when you hold out the whisk straight out. Add the sugar and beat until very stiff.
3. Sift over the cornstarch and fold in with a rubber spatula. Fold in the vanilla extract. Spread the meringue in the prepared springform pan, leaving a slight indentation in the center to hold the berries.
4. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until pale brown on top. Let cool on a wire rack.
5. Open the springform pan and remove the sides. (You can serve the pavlova right on the base of the springform pan.) Beat the cream to stiff peaks.
6. Spread the top of the pavlova with the whipped cream, sprinkle over confectioners’ sugar, and top with the strawberries. Serve immediately. Serves 6
More Recipes from Kitchen Simple
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Kitchen Simple: Essential Recipes for Everyday Cooking by James Peterson and published by Ten Speed Press, 2011. Purchase this book from our store:Kitchen Simple.