July 4, 2011
Red, White, and Blue Pavlova
1 cup egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
1 pint blueberries
Preheat the oven to 175°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a half sheet pan. Use a 9x13 inch baking pan as a guide to trace a rectangle on the paper. Don't even think about trying to free hand this one.
Mix the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute. With the mixer still running, slowly add 2 cups of sugar. Then add cornstarch, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and continue beating until smooth and glossy, a few minutes more.
Pile the meringue on the parchment paper inside the rectangle and smooth it to an even height. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open, and let the pavlova cool in the oven for one hour. The meringue will crack and there's nothing you can do about it.
When pavlova is cool, whip the cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla to soft peaks. Spread the top of the pavlova with whipped cream. Arrange the blueberries and strawberries patriotically. Don an American flag pin for the occasion. Give the pavlova a light dusting of powdered sugar. Serve immediately in large scoops.