Growing up one of my food idols was Anna Olsen. As a child I sat on the kitchen counter watching episode after episode of her show 'Bake with Anna Olsen'. Eventually my parents bought me her two cookbooks, 'Sugar' and 'Another Cup of Sugar', and even took me to Anna's bakery in Niagara, where Anna made me a sandwich, came to sit, chat and sign my books - I was beyond excited! I was so inspired to bake. After a lot of practice and many failed baking attempts I have finally become quite a competent baker. Unlike my cooking, I always follow a baking recipe. Sometimes I make family recipes, but most often I source recipes from other blogs and the food network. This time I sourced from Anna Olsen's archive. These picks are never a disappointment!
The original recipe is located at the end of this blog post in the highlighted link. I made a slight adjustment and of course used different fruit. I made two pavlovas assembling them like a cake, putting whipped cream and fruit in the middle and top. The ingredient list represents enough for a two layered pavlova, if you would like to make a single layer, simply half the ingredients.
8 egg whites
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups + 4 tablespoons of white sugar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp white vinegar
4 cups whipping cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4-6 cups of mixed fruit (berries, plums and peaches)
Note: cream of tartar is a stabilizing agent for the egg whites. If you do not have this on hand don't fret! This ingredient is easily eliminated or replaced with an equal amount of vinegar or lemon juice.
Pre-heat your oven to 300°F, and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper (once complete, the meringue will be placed on the paper).
Now to prepare your meringues! First you will need to separate your egg whites from your yolks (if you are unsure of how this process works, check out this how to video at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPEUf4Wugyk). Once you have separated your whites, beat them on med-high for a minute (until foamy). Add cream of tartar at this time. Continue to beat egg whites on mid-high, gradually adding 2 cups of sugar, until stiff peaks form. Once egg whites have been whipped fully, fold in corn starch and vinegar. Evenly divide the meringue to make two circles on the prepared baking sheets. Each meringue should be about 8-10 inches in diameter. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Once baked the meringues should be slightly golden.
While your meringues are baking prepare your whipping cream. Using a large bowl add whipping cream and vanilla, beating this until it begins to stiffen. Gradually add 4 tablespoons of sugar. Whip cream to stiff peaks, careful not to over-whip!
Assembly: Once the meringues have cooled, spread half the whipping cream on one of the meringues (this will become your bottom layer). Next, add fruit on top of the whipped cream. Now, carefully place the second meringue layer on top. To finish off, add the rest of the whipped cream and mixed fruit to the top of your pavlova. Enjoy!
Anna Olsen's pavlova recipe is linked here: