I have been lucky enough to eat Kate’s cooking in person…she hosts a yearly party where she and her darling sous chef husband chop, bake and roast their brains out for days prior to the event….then invite all their fun friends. The first time I met Kate was at one of these parties…yes, she invited a me, a virtual stranger, to her house…she’s just that kind and generous. We did find that we had many mutual friends…so I guess she had faith that I wasn’t some sort of crazy woman…and we’ve actually gone out to dinner a number of times since our first meeting.
Back to her party. Every flat surface in her house was covered with food: shrimp, pork, salmon, and beef dishes…salads and appetizers…and then the marvelous bars and cookies for desserts. I’ve made many of her recipes already…she is such a tremendous cook. Where I focus on baking, Kate has loads of marvelous savory dishes…and they’re restaurant quality recipes that consistently have my mouth watering. But in my tradition of making decadent desserts for the Secret Recipe Club each month, I chose one of her desserts. We love pavlovas and I’ve made numerous varieties…but never with orange curd. I used Ina Garten’s Orange Curd (in my haste, I did not see that Kate had shared another recipe…I’ll have to try her version or lemon curd instead…mine wasn’t so great) and added some whipped cream to the layers. I made one large pavlova instead of minis. Thanks, Kate…this received Bill’s seal of approval…though he left all the blackberries and kiwi for me :/
1/2 cup egg whites at room temperature (4 large eggs or 5-6 medium eggs)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream whipped (I sweetened with sugar and added a splash of vanilla)
Sliced kiwis, raspberries and blackberries, for serving
Preheat oven to 350º. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until frothy.
Add cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla. Slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. The meringue will be very glossy.
Draw a 9″ circle on a sheet of parchment, turn it over and place it on a baking sheet. Spread meringue into the circle and smooth top.
Bake the meringues for 10 mintues at 350º then reduce the heat to 300º and bake them for an additional 45 minutes. The meringue will be light brown with a few cracks. DO NOT open the oven door while you’re baking them! After 45 minutes, turn off the oven and crack the door open.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes in oven, then remove to finish cooling.
To serve, pavlova on a plate, top with whipped cream, orange curd and finally with kiwi slices, raspberries and blackberries.