Yes! It’s time for sweet treats again!
I hosted a few girlfriends for dinner the other weekend, which seemed like the perfect excuse to try another recipe from the Bobbette & Belle cookbook that I’ve been baking my way through. The recipe for Drunken Mixed Berry Pavlovas seemed like a good pick for celebrating the start of summer – it’s light, it’s full of berries, and it was the perfect treat to cap off the first truly hot day of the year. (There have since been plenty of scorchers – summer is officially here.)
The bulk of this recipe is preparing the meringues. This is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get recipe: if you follow the directions, your meringues will turn out exactly as they’re supposed to. At least, that’s what happened to me – and trust me, it doesn’t always work out that way.
First, you whip up four egg whites, then you gradually add in granulated sugar and fold in cornstarch, vanilla, and vinegar (seems weird, but you can’t taste it). Some meringue recipes call for piping out the little bowls, but this one goes the rustic route: you just scoop out six mini mounds of meringue and smooth them out into nests. The pro tip from the book: wet your spoon with hot water to keep the meringue under control.
The meringues take an hour and fifteen minutes to bake, and then you have to let them cool in the oven for at least as long. They’re supposed to remain white – mine were more of an ivory or possibly even a rose gold if you squint hard enough (I just think rose gold meringue sounds so trendy).
The “drunken mixed berry” part comes from the berry topping. Though I followed the meringue recipe to a tee, I took a few liberties with this part. I kept my topping sober and omitted the three tablespoons of Grand Marnier, which meant my topping was less liquidy. I also skipped out on blueberries because I had to stay within my monthly grocery budget and the strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries seemed sufficient. I omitted the lemon and mint garnish because that felt too fancy – but don’t worry, I kept in the whipped cream (I even whipped it “just before serving” as instructed, even though that is such a weird step when you’re hosting people for dinner and don’t have an at-home chef on hand to do it for you).
My little pavlovas were delicious and made a wonderful dessert. The meringue was spot on – the outside was light and crispy, and I believe the term “melt in your mouth” was developed specifically to describe meringue. The insides were chewy and just moist enough, making it delicious and virtually impossible to eat without using your hands.
Apologies for the non-fancy photos – Cedric had the nerve to take his camera on a ski trip, leaving me with my measly iPhone to capture the meringue memories!