Pavlova with Raspberries and Blueberries

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Furthering the quest to find a great 4th of July recipe, I started reading through magazines and visiting websites to research.  And there’s a lot out there!  As it turns out, red, white, and blue are all pretty common food colors (especially in the summer when berries are in season).  But something drew me to this pavlova.  The crispy meringue shell with a creamy center and a huge pile of fresh strawberries and blueberries.  How could you go wrong?  And, as it turns out, I didn’t.  This dessert is light and refreshing, but still satisfying.  It got the stamp of approval from my dad and from Jake, so that’s always a good thing.

But the funny part of my quest for good Independence Day recipes is that I won’t even be cooking on that day.  Jake and I will be in the car driving to Chicago and attending a BBQ when we arrive empty-handed.  So, hopefully, my quest will help the rest of you in some way.  And, really, this pavlova would be good anytime of year.  Don’t think I won’t make it again before the end of summer!

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Pavlova with Raspberries and Blueberries

For the topping:
⅔ cup chilled heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
3 Tbs. sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries, cleaned and dried
1 pint raspberries, cleaned and dried
For the pavlova:
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
½ cup large egg whites (about 4 eggs)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the cream, yogurt, and 2 Tbs. sugar in medium bowl until stiff. Combine the blueberries, raspberries, and remaining 1 Tbs. sugar in separate bowl. Cover, and chill separately until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 250°F and place the rack just below center. Trace 9-inch circle onto sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment over onto large rimmed baking sheet (so that you can see it but not have it get on your food).

Combine 1 Tbs. sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Beat the egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 15 Tbs. sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until meringue is thick and satiny and a path remains when a spoon is drawn through it. Beat in the cornstarch mixture.

Scrape the meringue into the center of the circle on the parchment paper. Spread to fill the circle, building the edges slightly higher than the center. Bake the pavlova until outside is dry but center is still soft (crust will give when poked). This will be about 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Turn off the oven, leaving the door closed, and cool 1 hour. Slide a spatula under the pavlova to loosen, and transfer to cake plate while supporting the bottom (I used the spatula).

Spread the yogurt cream thickly over the pavlova, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered. Top with the fruit mixture.

Source: Adapted slightly from Vegetarian Times June 2013 p.73

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