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Strawberries and cream spread over a sweet meringue base make for the perfect light summer treat.

Strawberry Basil Pavlova

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs whites, room temperature

  • 1 cup superfine sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the berries:

  • 16 ounces wild organic strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

  2. Use a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and a clean bowl. Add in the egg whites and begin to whisk on medium until frothy. Slowly add in the sugar. Raise the speed to high and whisk until light, white and stiff peaks form.

  3. Remove from stand mixer and gently fold in the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla.

  4. On a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper, mound up the whipped egg whites (meringue) into about a 10-inch round. Make a well in the middle. That's where the whipped cream and berries will go after it's baked.

  5. Place in the oven and immediately reduce to 250°F. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.

  6. While the meringue bakes, make the strawberry mixture. Wash and dry the berries. Remove the tops and slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice, and basil. Stir together. Set aside until needed, stirring occasionally.

  7. When ready to serve, whip together the cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Place the cooled meringue on a serving platter or cake stand, mound up the whipped cream in the middle followed by the marinated strawberries, letting the sauce drip down the sides. Cut and serve immediately.

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Transcript

- Today, I'm making Strawberry Basil Pavlova. It is the perfect summer dessert, and it's such a showstopper. I'll show you how to make it. To start this recipe, I'm gonna make the meringue, which is the bottom part of the Pavlova. And I need to separate four eggs. And I just need the whites, and you wanna make sure you don't get any of the yolks into it. Alright, in a stand mixer, if you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer, add your whites, and then start frothing them up. Okay, they're nice and fluffy and frothy, so I have some superfine sugar. I'm gonna slowly add it to the bowl. See how it's fluffed up, see? Stiff peaks. To this, I'm going to add some cornstarch, which stabilizes it. I'm just sifting it 'cause I want it to be really fine, and then a little vinegar, which helps break it down and keep it nice and light. You only need a teaspoon or so, and then vanilla, which adds the flavor. Just fold this through. You don't wanna deflate your beautiful meringue that you just whipped up, perfect. Sheet tray lined with parchment, and I'm gonna scoop out my Pavlova, so light and fluffy and shiny and glossy. Alright, let's spread this out. You can make an oval, you can make a heart. I'm gonna make it in a circle. I'm gonna pop this in the oven. I have it at 300. I'm gonna pop it in, I'm gonna immediately turn it down to 250, and then bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Then I'll turn the oven off, and I'll let it cool completely in the oven. Write that down, I'm never saying it again, if you didn't get it, I'm sorry, good luck. While my Pavlova cooks, I'm going to work on my strawberries. Take their little green tops off, and I have this nifty gadget. I think, sharp blades, you put a strawberry in here, don't know if it, maybe this way? Let's try, I've never used this before. Oh, son of a! They're all even, that's cool. The laziest chef known to man, Megan Mitchell. That, it's just too loud! P-chu! Alright, enough of that. I'm gonna go back to good old-fashioned slicing. Last berry. To the bowl, some sugar, superfine since we used it in the meringue. The juice of half of a lemon, squeeze it over your hand in case any seeds come out. Set that aside. I'm gonna chop up my basil. Alright, now I need to do a chiffonade, which, you take it all up, you roll it like a cigar. You thinly slice it, so it looks like little confetti. Stir this together, and then set it aside. It can go in the fridge, or it can stay out at room temp. Just give it a stir every, I don't know, 20, 30 minutes, and it'll start to release its juices, pretty. While that chills, my Pavlova's cooking, I'm gonna make my whipped cream. Heavy cream. And powdered sugar. And just whip it up. Cream is done. My berries just need a little time to macerate and release their juices, and luckily, this should probably be done by the time my Pavlova's done, so I'm gonna pop these in the fridge, let my Pavlova cook and cool, and then I can assemble. My Pavlova has cooled, and look, it's like this light, airy, crunchy, crispy, just, pillow, that's ready and waiting for me to fill it with goodness. My whipped cream. And if it cracked around the edges, that's fine, we're gonna cover it up, and it's normal. It's not weird, it's normal. My macerated strawberries, I put 'em on top of this with the juices. Oh yeah. And there you have it, my Strawberry Basil Pavlova. You have the crunchy meringue on the bottom, the fluffy whipped cream, and then the strawberries and basil, which is just so summery and light and delicious. You bring this out at the end of the dinner party, people will not believe it. They will be so psyched, and then even more psyched when they eat it. I hope you make it. Enjoy.

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