from Bangkok with love: pavlova with tropical fruit

My last recipe post was over two weeks ago!

That’s because I was packing, cleaning out the refrigerator in the Teeny Tiny Apartment, flying to Bangkok,  and getting over jet lag. Now that I’m recovered, I’m baking again. I’ve always wanted to try making this pavlova with tropical fruit. It’s superb with raspberries but divine with mango, kiwi, and passion fruit.

Make sure you have this mis en place:

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine/caster sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons superfine/caster sugar
1 mango diced
1 kiwi sliced and quartered
2 passion fruit, seeds and pulp only

Preheat the oven 250˚F. Prepare a baking tray with a 6-8 inch circle drawn in the center of a sheet of parchment. I ran out of parchment so I used a silicone liner. It worked!

In Bangkok, it is “winter”–meaning it is cool and not as humid–perfect weather to make the meringue. To make the meringue, separate 4 eggs while cold. Allow the whites to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Whip the whites until foamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and continue beating until blended. Add one cup of superfine/caster sugar one tablespoon at a time until blended. Continue whipping until the whites turn smooth and satiny. When you lift the beaters, the peaks should be stiff, the tips just curling over.

Scrape the meringue into the center of the circle. I didn’t want to draw on the silicone liner so I just guessed  the circle’s diameter would be  8 inches. Mound the meringue leaving a slight well in the center. Bake 60-75 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the meringue dry out, about 2-3 hours. I was in a rush so I took it out after 1 hour before it had thoroughly cooled. As a result, the meringue crust was slightly chewy rather than crisp.

Beat the whipping cream with two tablespoons sugar. Spread the cream in the center of the meringue. If the shell cracks and breaks, don’t worry. In a bowl, gently toss the mango and kiwi together. Pour on top of the whipped cream. Sprinkle the passion fruit on top. Serve with a spoon!

Cake Baker’s Note: Choose wrinkled passion fruit as they will be the ripest. To cut open a passion fruit make the first cut at one of the poles. Don’t try to slice through the whole fruit but slice through the rind one hemisphere at a time. Scoop out the seeds and the pulp. Discard the “shells.”

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