This past weekend was like the planets aligned. I stopped at my grocery store and found local raspberries on sale for 99 cents a package. I filled my shopping cart with them and my fridge is now full of fresh raspberries. Yay!
I scooted on over to the next produce section and what do I find? Passion fruit for 25 cents each. I love these too! If I remember right, these are normally $1.99 a piece. I bought a dozen. Now my fridge has lots of passion fruit too. Double Yay!
Now the wheels start to turn. What will I make using these great fruits? One of my very favourite things to put these on top of is Pavlova. I’m pretty sure now that is exactly where these ingredients are destined to go.
If I needed any more reason that it should be a Raspberry Passion Fruit Pavlova, all doubts are removed when I move into the dairy section to find containers of liquid egg whites on sale for 94 cents, with a 50 % discount sticker stuck to the cartons. You can’t argue with 500g containers of Free-Run liquid egg whites for 47 cents each. Now my freezer has several cartons of egg whites waiting for me to decide exactly what they’ll go into.
A Raspberry Passion Fruit Pavlova is the perfect choice. I love sweet tart fresh local berries. I adore passion fruit, it’s the perfect tropical fruit for me. I love everything about it. I love the scent of it. I love the sweet sour tangy taste of it. And I love the crunch of the seeds. Exotic. Perfect. Yummo.
I couldn’t decide which I would use to top my Pavlova. Then I decided why not use both! Who said I could only use one. No one. Raspberry Passion Fruit Pavlova is exactly what I will make. And I did 🙂
Now truth be told, I don’t have much experience at all using liquid egg whites. I just assumed I could pour out the quantity I would need and whip away. Total Noobie mistake. What I didn’t do was read the side of the carton about how to substitute. That probably would have helped a lot, but live and learn I say!
I knew I would need roughly a 1/2 cup of egg whites, I just poured that amount out and went about whipping them up. That was likely my first mistake, not reading the carton for substitutions. I went about whipping my egg whites. I added my super fine sugar a tablespoon at a time, waited, added another and another until all my sugar was used up.
I knew I was in trouble probably before I used all my sugar up.
My egg whites didn’t look right.
Had I started to add my sugar too soon? Maybe I didn’t wait long enough to get my egg whites to stiff peaks. They were pretty soft looking when I started in with the sugar. Maybe it was the liquid egg whites. I never used them before to make meringue. Maybe it was a combo of both. All I know is that my first attempt at making my meringue with liquid egg whites ended up with something more like marshmallow fluff then stiffly beaten meringue for a baked Pavlova. It still tasted good, but it was runny and was not going to hold any shape at all, except for a runny puddle of goo in my oven 🙂
I put this experiment in the fridge, to wait for me to figure out how I could go about rescuing it. I hate wasting food. It tasted great, it just wasn’t going to work for a baked meringue. I’m not giving up on the liquid egg whites though. I’ll be giving them another try soon, this time closely following the substitution amounts on the side of the carton.
I pulled my carton of good old-fashioned eggs out of my fridge. I know exactly how to work with these. Crack. Separate. Whip. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
My second attempt was the winner. What I ended up with is exactly what I’m used to. A good stiff glossy egg white meringue. I free formed my meringue on my Silpat laid on top of a baking sheet.
After baking my meringue for an hour and 20 minutes, I turned my oven off, left the door closed and left the meringue to dry out in the oven. I left it in the oven until the oven was completely cold again.
As soon as the meringue is done cooling in the oven, it’s time to whip up some fresh whip cream and get to topping the Pavlova.
Yup. Raspberry Passion Fruit Pavlova is a win for me. Two of my favourite fruits sharing center stage with whipped cream and a crispy crunchy Pavlova with a soft marshmallow like center. Perfection. Yup. Puuuuuuurrrfection!
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- 4-5 passion fruit
- ½ cup whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Separate eggs, leave egg white to sit roughly 20-30 minutes until they come to room temperature.
- If you can't find superfine sugar at the store, use regular white sugar, process in a food processor until the sugar is fine in texture.
- Beat egg whites in a clean metal or glass bowl. Make sure the bowl and beater are super clean. You don't want any traces of oil or fats on any of the surfaces. This will make it very difficult if not impossible to whip your egg whites properly.
- Whip egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, wait a bit, then add another tablespoon and wait. Keep doing so until you've used up all your sugar.
- Add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Mix cornstarch and vinegar together, add to meringue and stir.
- Use either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, I use a Silpat.
- Form your meringue into a disk shape. 1-2 inch high sides. Roughly.
- Bake in oven for 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Turn oven off and leave meringue to dry in a closed oven until oven is fully cooled.
- When ready, whip whip cream, add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. I don't add extra sugar to the whip cream as the pavlova is sweet enough on its own. I don't want everything to be sweet. the unsweetened whipped cream is a nice counter to the sweet meringue.
- Top pavlova with whipped cream.
- Add fresh raspberries and passion fruit.