Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this enchanting Australian dessert features baked meringue dried to form a crispy shell. Filled with a sweetened cream cheese mixture and topped with sliced fruit, Strawberry Pavlovas are graceful delicacies.
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon orange extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2½ cups (⅛-inch) sliced strawberries
- Garnish: orange zest
- Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a 3-inch round cutter and a pencil, trace 10 circles 2 inches apart on parchment. Flip parchment over so pencil marks are face-down on baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, orange extract, and salt. Beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add granulated sugar gradually, beating until stiff peaks form. (Meringue mixture will look glossy.)
- Place mixture in a piping bag fitted with a medium open-star tip*. Starting in the middle of each traced circle, pipe concentric circles of meringue mixture outward until circle is filled. Pipe 1 to 2 extra layers on perimeters of rounds to form a rim around the edge of each circle.
- Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off, and let sit in oven for at least 2 hours or overnight. (This will help meringues continue to dry and form a crispy shell.)
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among meringue shells. Arrange strawberry slices, pointed tips up, in concentric circles in cream cheese mixture to form a flower shape. Garnish center of each Pavlova with orange zest, if desired. Serve immediately.
For more delectable fare and for tips on hosting a tea, see the Tea Pleasures 2018 issue of Victoria Classics.