It’s kiwi time!
Here the festive fruit stars alongside pomegranate in a lighter than air Pavlova cake.
Pavlova is one of my favorite desserts. Yummy crisp meringue filled with cream and fruit is such a wonderful combination. I had this Kiwi-Pomegranate version served in individual sized tarts at a Christmastime book group a few years ago. I wanted to make the dessert myself, but serve it up as a cake for my husband’s birthday. It is just as wonderful as I remembered and as perfect in September as it was in December.
Ingredients for meringues layers:
4 large egg whites (reserve yolks for pastry cream), at room temperature for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
Ingredients for pastry cream:
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
Ingredients for fruit topping:
8 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
Directions for meringue:
1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 200°F.
2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
3. Beat egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until whites are foamy, then add cream of tartar and salt. Continue beating until whites hold soft peaks. Add 1/2 cup superfine sugar, a little at a time, beating, then increase mixer speed to high and continue to beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks, about 5 minutes. Thoroughly fold in remaining 1/2 cup superfine sugar.
4. With back of a spoon, spread meringue into 3 rounds (about 8 inch, 6 inch and 4 inch) on each lined baking sheet.
5. Using a fine-mesh sieve, lightly dust confectioners’ sugar evenly over meringues.
6. Bake, with oven door propped open about 1/2 inch by using the handle of a wooden spoon, until meringue is crisp, about 2 1/2 hours. Turn oven off and let meringues stand in oven, with door propped open, until dry, at least 1 hour. Carefully peel off parchment.
Directions to make pastry cream:
1. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small bowl.
2. Whisk together yolks in a medium bowl, then whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
3. Bring milk just to a boil with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
4. Remove milk from heat and whisk half of milk mixture into egg mixture. Pour custard back into pan, whisking, and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Chill pastry cream, its surface covered with wax paper, 2 hours.
5. Whisk heavy cream vigorously in a medium bowl until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk pastry cream briefly to loosen, then, using spatula, gently fold in whipped cream. Chill, covered, 30 minutes.
Directions to assemble cake:
1. Just before serving, place largest meringue shell on a serving plate. Top with most of pastry cream and fruit. Place smaller meringue on top and cover with the remaining pastry cream and fruit. Top with the smallest meringue. Sprinkle lightly with additional confectioners’ sugar.
Recipe slightly adapted from Gourmet Magazine
How about an acoustic version of ‘The Seeds’ by The Men? Evidently, this was recorded around a campfire in Upstate NY. I love it.
Check out The Men over at Sacred Bones Records, where you can buy their music.