Pavlova is a classic French dessert named for a Russian opera singer, and here' it's given Portuguese flavor for a truly multi culti dish. It's essentially an ethereal meringue that's baked in a circle shape, then filled with a creamy custard (or pastry cream, more traditionally) and often topped with fresh fruit. Here, the dessert is topped with toasted crushed almonds and a dusting of cinnamon (a la Portuguese mode).
- 6 egg whites
- 275 grams powdered sugar
- 1 pinch fine salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
- 3 cornstarch (teapoons)
- 6 egg yolks
- 250 grams sugar
- 1 deciliter water
- 100 grams almonds (coarsely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- cinnamon (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 150ºC (approximately 300º F).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a circle in the center about 20-22cm in diameter (use a plate as a template).
- Set aside.
- Separate the yolks from the whites.
- Place the egg whites in a bowl and add a pinch of fine salt.
- Whisk the egg whites until foamy.
- Add the vinegar and cornstarch stirring constantly. Slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Beat until the whites are firm and glossy.
- Place in spoonfuls over the drawn circle.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce oven to 120ºC (approximately 248º F).
- Continue baking for 75 to 80 minutes. Do not open oven door while baking. After baking, meringue should be firm and set.
- Turn off the oven and leave meringue to cool completely. After 30 minutes, open the oven door slightly.
- When cool, remove the parchment paper carefully so as not to crack the meringue.
- Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Stir occasionally. Bring to and boil for about 4-5 minutes. Beat the egg yolks slightly with a fork and add to the saucepan. Stir constantly until mixture starts to thicken.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Heat the almonds in a nonstick skillet.
- Add the sugar and sprinkle water gradually until the almonds are coated and slightly caramelized.
- Remove to a plate to cool slightly. Separate the almonds with a fork.
- Place the meringue base on the serving dish.
- Spread the egg curd to cover almost the entire surface.
- Distribute the almonds over the egg curd and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.