A friend of mine, who just so happens to be the extremely talented writer of Ravenmarked, was mentioning a terrible cover of Elton John's Tiny Dancer the other day on Facebook. I was extremely sympathetic to her plight, as I have heard several "covers" over the years that made my ears bleed. That was when my search engine kicked in.
I am sure it was triggered by the fact that as soon as "Tiny Dancer" was mentioned, the lyrics began flashing through my cortex. And the random search began. My engine focused one particular line; "Ballerina, you must have seen her.... Dancin' in the sand..."
Now that I have everyone convinced that I am certifiably insane, or at least that there is something wrong with the way my synapses fire, on with the Tayberry Pavlovas....
I will warn you that I am cheating... I had egg whites in the refrigerator, but I didn't want to wait for them to warm to room temperature, so I decided to use the Swiss Meringue method, instead of French or Italian. One other thing. What distinguishes Pavlova Meringue from other hard meringues is the addition of some cornstarch. It helps to keep the center a little more marshmallow-y even after drying, thus giving the Pavlova it's unique texture.
Pavlovas have 3 steps - Meringue, Cream or Mouse, and finally the fruit topping and garnish.
Miniature Tayberry Pavlova
6 large Egg Whites
1 1/2 cups of Granulated Sugar (that is 4 TB per large egg white)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter
2 tsp Corn Starch
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
On a piece of parchment, use a pencil to draw or trace a 4 inch round.
Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the Swiss Meringue into the middle of each traced round.
Remove them from the oven and peel them from the parchment very carefully.
1/3 cup Confectioners' Sugar
3 TB Lemon Juice
1/2 cup (4 oz) Crème Fraîche
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) Heavy Cream
Zest of 1 Lemon
In a medium bowl, combine Confectioners' sugar and Lemon juice.
Before I get into this, mind you I was in a hurry, I was having an obsessive moment and Blood Oranges are not in season right now. (sigh) Luckily World Market's Blood Orange Soda is made with juice and cane sugar, so in a way, it just saved some steps. I will admit it's still a little cheesy in a way, but it worked fairly well. Next time though, I want to make Blood Orange Coulee instead of a glaze
12 oz Blood Orange Italian Soda
1 TB Lemon Juice
Blood Orange Sauce
So what is a Tayberry? It is a bramble berry hybrid from Scotland created by crossing a Logan Berry with a Black Raspberry. Logan Berries in and of themselves are a hybrid, being a Blackberry crossed with Raspberry. Tayberries have an incredible scent and flavor almost like a rose, but not quite.
Place a Meringue disk on a plate.