Pavlova's one of those really just simply beautiful desserts. It's light, it's airy. It's heavenly in the angel food cake sort of way. I love the way the meringue-like base is crispy on the outside and like a marshmallow within, topped with barely sweetened whipped cream and tangy, acidic berries.
We're not entirely sure where it originated (both Australia and New Zealand lay claim) but it was created to celebrate a Russian ballerina named Anna Pavlova in honor of her visit to the region in the 1920s.
4 large egg whites
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp champagne vinegar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey (I used a local wild variety)
1/4 cup blueberries (these can be interchanged with any seasonal berry)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees (F).
Cover a half sheet pan (baking sheet) with parchment paper or a silpat. Mix egg whites and salt in a stand mixer until firm. Slowly pour in sugar until peaks are stiff and glossy. Remove bowl from mixer and dust cornstarch over the mixture, fold in. Add vanilla and vinegar and gently fold in. Turn out mixture onto lined sheet pan and shape into a 9" circle. Bake for 1.5 hours, then turn off heat and, without opening the oven door, allow to cool completely for one additional hour.
Meanwhile, whip the cream in a stand mixer. Once cream has begun to thicken, add vanilla and sugar. Whip until nice and fluffy, but stop as soon as desired consistency is reached.
Top base with whipped cream, then dot with berries and drizzle with honey.