Pavlovas are the yin and yang of desserts. We love piping the meringue into little nests
(the smaller they are, the less time they take to bake)! and filling them with
a rich custard. Top these with fresh
berries and you’ve got a perfectly dainty pick-me-up dessert.
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or rub a half lemon on the side of the bowl)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch (can also replace with potato or rice starch)
1/2 cup passionfruit purée or frozen pulp (easily found in Latin supermarkets in the frozen section—frozen varieties are preferable over juices, which often contain preservatives)
1. To make the pavlovas, preheat oven to 250 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whip egg whites with cream of tartar and salt with a mixer until the soft peak stage appears. Soft peaks are when the eggs look less foamy and a bit white, but not yet pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Beating on medium speed, slowly add 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks appear. You will notice that the egg whites will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl and look quite glossy.
4. Stop beating and fold the cornstarch in very gently, just until combined.
5. Spoon onto cookie sheet or pipe into desired shapes. Bake for one hour, or until firm (and not rubbery) to the touch. You may enjoy them slightly undercooked, with softer centers, or crisp and the tiniest bit browned.
6. To make the passionfruit curd, place a saucepan half full with water on the heat, and bring to a simmer.
7. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
8. Whisk in the juice. Set the bowl above the pot, and reduce heat to medium to continue the simmer.
9. Stir the mixture over heat until a thick custard forms (this may take about 10 minutes)
10. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter until smooth.
11. Spoon curd into pavlovas. Top with fresh berries and serve immediately.