Like the prima ballerina who inspired it, a good pavlova makes for a show-stopping culinary performance that will not readily be forgotten. This brown sugar, berry pavlova "cake" gets a standing ovation. Simply finger-licking good!
- 1½ cups superfine sugar
- ¾ cups brown sugar
- 2 T + 1 t cornstarch
- 2 T + 1 t vanilla
- 1 T white vinegar
- 9 large eggs, separated
- 2 pounds strawberries, trimmed and quartered
- ½ pound blueberries (2 packages)
- ½ pound blackberries (2 packages)
- 3 T superfine sugar
- 1½ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- ½ cup sour cream, chilled
- 1Heat oven to 275 degrees, placing the racks in the middle of the oven. Cut three rectangles of parchment paper to fit the inside of three heavy-gage cookie sheets. Butter the cookie sheets and place the parchment paper on top of the butter, smoothing the paper so it lies flat and sticks to the cookie sheet.
- 2In your food processor, fitted with the chopping blade, pulse together the sugars and cornstarch until combined. Because of the different weights of these ingredients they will not combine uniformly.
- 3Combine vanilla and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
- 4Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with a generous pinch of salt on medium speed until they form soft peaks. Now begin adding sugar 2-3 tablespoons at a time, with your mixer now set on medium high. Mix until sugar is thoroughly combined after each addition of the sugar mixture. After all sugar has been combined, beat another minute. Add vanilla and vinegar to egg whites and increase the speed of your mixer to high. Beat for about 5 minutes until the meringue is stiff and glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- 5Plop one third of the meringue in the middle of each of the three prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a spoon, smooth the meringue into equal sized disks, about 1.5" high.
- 6Bake about an hour. Test with your finger to insure meringue has a crisp top. Allow your meringues to set in the oven for an hour after they are done. Turning off the oven and prop open the door with a wooden spoon. Don't fret if meringues crack a bit as they cool.
- 7While meringue is cooling, toss berries with remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and macerate for about an hour at room temperature.
- 8Using an electric mixer, beat whip cream to soft peaks. Fold in sour cream and beat again. Refrigerate until ready to assemble pavlova.
- 9When meringues are cool, remove pans from the oven. Gently lift the first meringue disk and attached parchment off the pan. Carefully peel off parchment and place on oversized serving platter. Spread with one third of the whipped cream and top with one third of the macerated berries and their juices. Remove the second meringue disk from the parchment and place on top of the first meringue/cream/berry layer. Repeat as you did for first layer, for the second and third layers. Serve immediately.