By Chef Ella Freyinger

March 2021

Pavlova satisfies my intense desire for texture. It’s chewy on the inside, crisp and shattering on the outside, filled with heavenly whipped cream and topped with the fresh bite of spring.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PAVLOVA
  • 4 egg whites
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar (not powdered sugar)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp distilled vinegar
  • FOR THE RHUBARB
  • 3 ribs fresh rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp cara cara juice
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Edible flowers

Steps

  • FOR THE PAVLOVA
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 9” pan as your guide, draw a circle onto the parchment. Flip the parchment over so that the markings are facing down.
  • Place egg whites and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at a low speed to break up egg whites and then slowly increase to high. Beat until the mixture has a satiny appearance and soft peaks. Add sugar 2 tbsp at a time, and continue beating until all the sugar is used and the mixture is shiny and stiff peaks form.
  • Add cornstarch, white-wine vinegar and vanilla, and fold in gently. Using the circle you drew as a guide, heap the meringue onto the parchment. Gently flatten into a disk, making the sides about ¼” higher than the middle (this will help to hold your topping and any juices that form). Place in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 300° F. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Once done, turn off the heat and leave the meringue in the oven to cool completely.
  • SIDE NOTE: I PREFER TO MAKE PAVLOVA IN THE EVENING, AFTER DINNER, SO THAT I CAN LET IT REST IN THE OVEN OVERNIGHT. MOISTURE IS A PAVLOVA’S WORST ENEMY AND BEING THAT I LIVE SOMEWHERE WITH VERY HIGH HUMIDITY THIS HELPS ENSURE I WON’T HAVE A STICKY OR SOGGY PAVLOVA.
  • FOR THE RHUBARB
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut the rhubarb into 1” pieces on a bias. Place the rhubarb, honey and cara cara juice into a baking dish with a pinch of salt and toss to coat the rhubarb. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is just tender.
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • Place heavy cream in a chilled bowl and whip, using an electric mixer, until medium peaks form. There is plenty of sweetness in the pavlova so I prefer to not sweeten the cream for this recipe.
  • Mix the strawberries and rhubarb, very gently, in a medium bowl. Place the pavlova onto a platter. Fill the center with the whipped cream. Top with the strawberry-rhubarb mixture and edible flowers. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
  • Enjoy!