Mildly nutty meringue cradles fresh berries in this classic dessert named for a ballerina. Substitute other fresh fruit, such as blueberries, peeled and cut-up kiwifruit, sliced bananas, pineapple chunks and/or seeded, peeled and sliced peaches, papaya or mango for the strawberries. If you like, substitute finely chopped almonds or pecans for pistachios.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 9x11/2- inch round cake pan to trace a circle on the paper. Turn paper over on sheet; set aside.

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  • For meringue: Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form (tips curl when beaters are lifted out). Beat in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add 1 1 /4 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved after each addition. (Meringue should feel smooth when rubbed between two fingers.) Continue beating on high speed for about 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight when beaters are lifted). Gently fold in nuts.

  • Spread meringue on prepared parchment paper, creating a 9-inch-wide bowl with a 1/2-inch-thick bottom and 2-inch-tall sides.

  • Bake in a 300° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until meringue is cracked on top. Turn off oven. Let meringue shell dry in oven, with door closed, for 1 hour. (Do not open oven door while drying. This allows the meringue to dry out completely, producing a crisp shell.) Carefully peel or lift the meringue shell off the paper. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

  • For whipped cream: In a clean large mixing bowl, beat whipping cream, the 1 tablespoon sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed or with a whisk until soft to almost stiff peaks form.

  • Place cooled meringue shell on a serving platter. Top with the whipped cream, spreading nearly to edge. Arrange the 3 cups sliced strawberries on top of cream. Cover loosely and chill for 2 to 24 hours before serving.

  • For sauce: In a blender or food processor combine the 2 cups strawberries and the 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Press berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Chill, covered, for up to 2 to 24 hours.

  • To serve, spoon the sauce over the berry-topped pavlova. To slice, dip a knife into hot water before cutting each wedge.

Tips

Nutrition Facts

331 calories; 15 g total fat; 41 mg cholesterol; 48 mg sodium. 47 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein;

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