Red and Orange Pavlova — Pavlova en rouge et orange

What would you say if I told you that my grand-mother used to make the best meringues? Probably that yours did as well, because we all have a sense that someone in our family or amongst our acquaintances makes “the best of something you have ever had”. For example, P. has an Irish uncle, a friendly bloke who lives in a cute village by the sea close to Dublin, who loves to go fishing — and always catches something according to him — and likes to talk about food at length, especially to tell me the same French story every time I see him, on how expensive lobster was when he traveled to La Rochelle in France many years ago. He also adds that he makes the best jam. Yes, just like this. It always brings a smile to my face but I love his stories and his jams as a matter of fact. So when I say that my grand-mother used to make the best meringues, it might really sound cliché and banal. But the truth is that in my eyes, she really did. She died when I was too young, and I only wished I could still taste her meringues, her saucisson sec and her fries cut in a playful twirly shape cooked in végétaline (a vegetal cooking oil). They tasted like nothing else.

With this in mind, there was never the need for me to make meringues since whenever we visited my grand-mother Marie, we used to bring an endless supply of them home. I have rarely made meringues, but thought I would change this as a good friend of ours came for dinner a few days ago. On top of having a pretty large sweet tooth, I knew that she loved them.

I decided to make pavlovas, to make our dessert look more festive. Dessert does not always need to be complicated to be fulfilling.

I have rarely eaten pavlovas. My first time was actually only a few years ago, when P. and I went for dinner to a couple of our friends’. I was truly delighted to encounter this dessert for the first time. They served theirs with plain whipped cream topped with blackberries. In view of my current pomegranate phase, I thought of making mine slightly different, going into a white and red theme. There is no particularly reason to explain it besides that it gave me a great opportunity to try meringues, which I had not cooked in quite a while.

Meringues could not be simpler. They really only require two ingredients:

  • Egg whites
  • Sugar

The trick about meringues is to determine when they are done. My grand-mother used to make hers hard and crispy. I like mine softer inside and crispier outside — just like pavlova meringues typically are. Depending on what your prefer, you will have to adjust the cooking time, prolonging it if you want them crispier, or shortening it otherwise. The cooking time I give here made for crispy meringues. I also wanted to flavor the whipped cream with orange, because I have always loved the association of raspberries with this flavor. Adding a touch of cardamom made it spicier. In many ways, you can simply customize them according to your preferred taste.

We topped ours with extra cream and fruit, adding more each time we were running out. My friend F. was so impressed with the dessert that she ate two — it is easy though as I am sure she could make a meal with desserts only — taking home the additional meringues I had made. She added that she was going to have them for breakfast the following day. “Dis-moi, tu es bien brave !” (You are brave), I told her when she was about to leave. I am not sure whether I could personally do this, but again, I am not much of a sweet tooth in the morning. F. went home on a sugar high, content as one can be. As to me, deep inside, I knew one thing: I would have made my grand-mother happy too.

Red and Orange Pavlovas

(For 6 small pavlovas)

You need:

The Meringue

  • 3 medium-sized egg whites
  • 3.5 oz fine sugar
  • 1 dash of salt

The Fruit

  • 5 to 7 oz fresh raspberries and pomegrenate seeds
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp fine sugar
  • 1 orange zest

The Orange Whipped Cream

  • 2/3 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fine sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure orange extract
  • Dash of cardamom powder

Steps:

  • Preheat your oven at 210 F.
  • Place the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Start to beat them, and after 1 mn, add 2 tbsp of sugar before progressively adding the rest. The egg whites should be firm and form nice shiny peaks.
  • Take a baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Divide the egg whites between 6 little nests and place them in the oven for 1 hour 45 mns to 2 hours. Then turn off the oven and leave the meringue for 1 hour (this makes for crispier meringues, if you like them less cooked, shorten the cooking and resting times, check regularly by touching the meringues). Remove them and let them cool on a cooling rack.
  • When you are about to serve, mix together the fruit with the lime juice and sugar.
  • Whip the cold heavy cream firm with the orange essence, cardamom powder and sugar.
  • To serve, take one meringue and make a little indent in the middle before adding whipped cream and topping with fruit, and candied orange zests (orange zests cooked in a syrup made of sugar and water).

Le coin français
Pavlovas en rouge et orange

(Pour 6 petits pavlovas)

Ingrédients :

La meringue

  • 3 blancs d’oeuf de taille moyenne
  • 100 g de sucre fin
  • 1 pincée de sel

Les fruits

  • 150 à 200 g de framboises et de graines de grenade fraîches
  • Jus d’1 citron vert
  • 2 càs de sucre fin

La chantilly à l’orange

  • 160 ml de crème liquide froide
  • 2 càc de sucre fin
  • 1/2 càc d’extrait d’orange pur
  • Pincée de cardamome en poudre


Étapes :

  • Préchauffez votre four à 100 C.
  • Mettez les blancs d’oeuf dans un bol avec une pincée de sel. Montez-les en neige ferme, en ajoutant d’abord 2 càs de sucre après 1 mn, et en ajoutant le reste progressivement. La neige doit être bien ferme et brillante.
  • Prenez une plaque de cuisson et recouvrez-la de papier sulfurisé. Divisez les blancs montés en neige en 6 petits nids, et mettez au four pendant 1 heure 45 mns à 2 heures. Arrêtez alors le four et laissez vos meringues dans le four éteint pendant 1 heure (ces données sont pour des meringues plutôt bien cuites, si vous les préfèrez plus molles, réduisez le temps de cuisson et celui de repos, en vérifiant régulièrement en cours de cuisson également). Sortez-les du four et laisssez-les refroidir sur une grille.
  • Lorsque vous êtes prêt à servir votre dessert, mélangez les fruits avec le jus de citron vert et le sucre.
  • Montez la crème liquide froide en chantilly avec l’extrait d’orange et la cardamome en poudre.
  • Pour servir, prenez une meringue et faites un petit creux pour mettre de la chantilly et les fruits au-dessus. Décorez avec des zestes d’orange confits dans du sucre.
Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free | 42 Comments

42 comments

  1. Très jolie recette et très belle photo comme d’ahabitude! Et ma grand-mère fait les meilleures terrines du monde…

  2. Meringues that looked just like that were a standard dessert made by my mother in Illinois when I was a child in the 1940’s and 50’s. We usually had them with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. I haven’t made them for years, but am inspired to do so now. Lovely photographs!

  3. Very nice post, Bea. I hear a voice that I haven’t heard before in your writing today. It’s really a beautiful one. Thanks.

  4. I can honestly say that no-one in my family has EVER made good meringues. My grandma included. I suspect that is why I have always been afraid to try, much though I love them. Maybe it’s time to start… :)

  5. Lucy is right, you do write with a very beautiful voice but I think I’ve heard it before just not quite as strong and deep. At least for me “adding more each time we were running out” really was like a hug from my mom who had a wonderful story that centered on just that idea.
    No, dessert does not always need to be complicated to be fulfilling. It does need to touch our hearts and this one really does.
    I love the red spoons! Wish I could dip one in and keep adding more.
    Lovely.

  6. Je suis comme Sarah. Jamais personne n’a fait çà dans ma famille, ni de près ni de loin. T’as de la chance.

    T.

  7. HA! My grandmother never made the best anything…she was known to burn jello.
    Your photos are especially wonderful here.

  8. Avant de me consacrer aux macarons j’étais une spécialiste des meringues, tout le monde m’en réclamait et le fait encore !!! donc je peusx très bien te comprendre!! Superbe dessert et on a la réponse au post d’hier comme ça !

  9. C’est absolument superbe Béa… et je trouve que tes photos sont plus belles de jour en jour (j’adore ton stylisme)

  10. quelle belle grand mère tu avais!! elle doit être bien faire de toi en voyant ce que tu fais et que tu perpétues ce qu”elle t’a transmis, même sans avoir sa recette

  11. Just when I thought your photography couldn’t get any better, you present this! The colours, composition, props and light – everything looks absolutely perfect :)

  12. Olala, these pavlova are definitely on the tempting side.
    And i really love your story and pictures (gosh, it’s like they were out of a posh food print).

    – fanny

  13. Absolutely everything thing about this post is suberb, the photos, the colors and food combination, the story and most of all the sentiment. Working for many years as a pastry chef, people always walked into my kitchen and ooh and ahhed about the tempting offerings, but usually the main focus was the aroma. Then I would hear lovely stories about their grandmothers this and that and how it made them feel and how that aroma brought back such happy memories. This post evoked the same reaction for me without the lovely aroma. Grazie for the memory.

  14. These look so beautiful and inspiring!
    I’d love to take photographs like that.
    I’ll have to try making these. Pavlovas are so sensually delicious.

  15. Ma grandmere c’etait la tarte aux pommes, ma mere les terrines de foie gras et moi les meringues…ca se mange sans faim!
    Tres belle recette! Les couleurs sont superbes.

  16. il y a des années que j’ai envie d’en préparer sans jamais oser car au final je me demande si le mariage meringue (que j’adore) chantilly n’est pas trop lourd mais le choix des fruits que tu as fait me paraît très bien équilibrer les deux. As tu déjà essayé d’en faire une grande ? ou fais tu toujours de individuelle ?

  17. beautifully styled bea….love the red spoons with the fruit.

    I’m pretty sure pavlova is an Australian dessert…anyway I was lucky enough to grow up on it but haven’t made one in ages. Thanks for reminding me

  18. Merci Ninette. Ah les terrines, c’est bon cela aussi.

    Sixty-five, nice memory! Thanks for your visit!

    Lucy, merci beaucoup pour ce gentil message!

    Sarah, ahahah this is funny. Yes you could be the first one in the family line to make good meringues ;-)

    Tanna, thanks again so much. Yes I agree, simple desserts can be so fulfilling!

    Dave, oh nice, cannot wait to see them.

    Grignote, merci.

    Tarzile, ah oui, ma mémé, c’était quelqu’un, elle me manque bien!

    Peabody, funny! ;-) Thanks for your nice note.

    Mercotte, ah mais oui, tu es bien la reine de tout ce qui touche aux meringues!

    Kat, thanks. I wonder how you pronounce babaloa.

    Sylvie, merci à toi!

    Débo, merci beaucoup!

    Ashley, thanks for your note.

    Alhya, ah oui, Marie, elle était un personnage. Un petit homme dans la cuisine, et elle avait bien du monde à nourrir à la ferme!

    Barbichounette, merci!

    Camille, ah mais je me souviens de celles que tu avais faits et qui m’avaient tant plus!

    Shinobi, merci.

    Sophie, encore une fois merci de ta visite.

    Chantal, merci.

    Ellie, oh no, really, you are too nice. But I am glad you like it!

    Fanny, thank you!

    Pasticciera, that is so nice of you to say. We have to cherish and feel so thankful to have been able to have grandmothers or mothers that taught us so much. I know that my love of food all started there!

    Karen, thank you! I think you are right, this dessert is such a light sensual treat.

    Scott, thanks.

    Helen, ah mais dis-moi alors, quelle famille superbe. Terrine au foie gras, wow!

    Anne, oui essaie tu verras l’acidité des fruits avec surtout le citronvert adoucit le goût prononcé de sucre dans la meringue. Je n’en ai jamais faite de grande. A essayer, fais-le et dis-moi ;-)

    Jules, yes you are probably right. I am ready from Australia or New Zealand, and ahah, you two countries must have your internal “fight” to claim the origin ;-) I would love to see yours. I am sure it would look divine!

    Mae, thanks. I am also on a red mode ;-)

    Brilynn, thanks.

    Krista, I bet you would!

    Carol, yes you are right, AUstralians are the masters, but I am trying as well ;-)

  19. J’aime bien quand tu fais dans le monochrome. Les grains de grenade sont impressionnants, on dirait de petits bijoux. Encore une merveille ce billet.

  20. Those pictures!!! We are so lucky to have your work. I also like my merinques the way you make them. Those were just lovely, Bea

  21. These look absolutely delightful. I cannot wait to get off of work and try my hand at meringues.

  22. Delicieux!
    This looks unbelievably beautiful (is it real?!)
    This is my first visit to your blog and I am totally enchanted. And you are generous enough to pass on the recipies!
    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>