Last month when the cooking group I belong to decided that a tropical dessert is what we’d do this month and I said, “Sure, no problem, whatever you want to make.” I was fine with that decision until I started to shop. What WAS I thinking? This month was to celebrate the end of summer. Only up there, folks!
Today is the first day of Spring in Australia. There IS no tropical fruit yet. I had this great idea that I’d go to the farmer’s market first thing on Saturday morning (today) and pick up something wonderful. I just knew someone would have just the right thing.
The farmer people let me down.
I found 3 nearly dried out passionfruit, 2 pretty tired pineapples, a few kiwi fruit and some strawberries. The vegetables looked terrific but the fruit was dismal. I looked at John and said, “Why do I get myself into these messes??” He said it was because I always said yes without thinking. I said, “shut up.” He said, “you asked!” I rolled my eyes.
I decided we must have missed something so we needed to go back through. It was like looking into a pantry thinking something new would be there from the last time you looked 15 minutes ago. I gave in and bought the 3 tired passionfruit and came home.
I certainly will be on the bottom of the cooking ladder with this one but I have to say, it was really good. I knew I’d be a day late but better a day late than no dessert at all. You nearly got a chocolate pie made with a frozen crust.
You can make meringues with as few as 2 egg whites but I wanted to make ice cream and that meant I needed 5 egg yolks, so that’s why my recipe calls for 5 egg whites. When making meringue I always use 1/4 cup of superfine, caster or fruit sugar per egg white so no matter what I’m making that requires egg whites, I know just how much sugar to add. I also put just a bit of white vinegar in there too in order to stabilize the egg whites.
…and yes, I know this is the standard pavlova dessert. I got an email a while back from someone who said she really didn’t like pavlova and would prefer that they were made like an ordinary meringue (??). So I decided if I ever posted another recipe, I would call it a soft meringue and then nobody would be timid about trying it. (there is NO difference in a meringue and a pavlova)
- 5 egg whites
- 1¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 scant teaspoon white vinegar
- Whipped cream, sliced fruit or berries and passionfruit to serve
- Preheat oven to 115C / 239F
- Place room temperature egg whites into a mixing bowl and whip with a balloon whisk until frothy.
- S l o w l y add the sugar while beating on high
- Continue beating until you can't feel the sugar when you put a bit of meringue between your fingers.
- Either spoon or pipe the meringues onto a baking tray covered with baking paper or a silpat. I used a spoon because I wanted it to be quick and rustic.
- Bake for 1 to 1½ hours, depending upon how crunchy you want the outside of your meringues. I like mine crunchy.
- When the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool. (if you need the oven they can come out - I leave them in there because my mother left them in there)
- Top with whipped cream, sliced fruit and a drizzle of passionfruit
Please check out what my fellow baking club members whipped up for tropical dessert month. If you’d like to join us – it’s just for fun – and we’d love to have you.
The Deep Dish
Simply Sweet Justice
From My Sweet Heart
When are men gonna learn to just smile and nod, lol. I don’t see much tropical fruit hear, but I sure wish I did. Haven’t had something like this in way too long. Hope you have a great weekend.
Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies says
I love meringue! I like to make them really really small and eat them as a little table snack. But, I love your idea of making them large and topping them with cream and fruit! It’s gorgeous!
That’s why I put soft meringue in the title because you can make these little suckers really dry and crumbley. That’s when I break them apart and mix them with berries and cream that makes Eton Mess. Absolutely DEEvine!
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
Dessert with fruit = health food! I remember visiting a bakery in Toowong, picking up a pavlova, and wondering, “Is this different from meringue?” Thank you for the answer!! 😉 The passionfruit looks better than anything I can find in Colorado!
I think in Australia, meringues just know better than mess up. Pavlova is a proud tradition. 🙂
Heather @girlichef says
That is beautiful! .I love meringue’s…pavlova’s…whatever! They make me feel virtuous (whether rightly so or not). =)
The presentation is gorgeous … white meringue and whipping cream, red strawberries, green kiwi and passion fruit.
Parsley Sage says
Oh bless! I completely forgot that you’d in that pickle! I know what its like to not have what you need on hand…berries? Chia Seeds? The heart attack inducingly expensive Apricot? Forget about it. I think you winged it pretty darn good though! Even tired passionfruits are still passionfruits and they’re the best! And you get hella bonus points for meringuing something. I would NEVER attempt 🙂
I never thought that you’re in a worse situation food supplyingly speaking than I am. Meringue is so easy. Whip, add sugar, whip, bake.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
These are so beautiful, I love the fruit topping!
I’m glad the meringues came out okay – we split that one about 3 seconds after I turned the camera off 🙂
Maureen…nothing tired looking here! Your pavlova is GORGEOUS! And it looks pretty tropical to me! You were a good sport to participate (and I’m a day late too!) Next month we’ll be sure to keep in mind what’s available to everyone. You did a GREAT job! : )
Thanks Anne, I felt sort of okay until I had a look at yours. What an amazing dessert you came up with!
This dessert looks like absolute bliss. Yum!
Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says
I still haven’t made meringues at home, but yours turned out gorgeous Maureen. I love the passion fruit, too.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I was very hopeful for the first day of spring but it ended up being a chilly day! Oh no, what a shame that you didn’t have more fruit to choose from but it still looks fantastic!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
This recipe looks delicious, Maureen. Seriously, you have my mouth watering… I would lick the screen, except I’m busy polishing off the last spoonfuls of my next blog post! Love your work.
Gorgeous Maureen – and those colours look amazing together. Great pics!
Choc Chip Uru says
My friend this is without a doubt, the BEST way to celebrate the joys of spring 😀
It looks incredible!
Choc Chip Uru
How I love pavlova/soft squishy meringue! 🙂
I love that bit too 🙂
suzanne Perazzini says
Considering your issues with finding the fresh fruit, this looks mighty fine.
Jen @ Savory Simple says
This is such a simple and lovely dessert!
No surprise here…but you made a silk purse from a sow’s ear, Maureen. BRAVO!!!!
Boy, passionfruit costs a fortune here, so consequently I almost never buy it. When I lived in Florida we had a butterfly garden so we actually grew it – but of course the caterpillars always ate so much of it we never got any fruit (the plant is host for Zebra caterpillars). Anyway, meringues are good stuff. Good read – thank you.
You worked wonders with those tired passionfruits!!!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Happy Spring and I am already jealous of the season 🙂 Love fruit and cream!
Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking says
I love your exotic fruit topped pavlova. I love eating this airy-cloudy dessert but I can’t seem to find the patience to bake them.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Add a blueberry and that is EXACTLY what I made for Father’s Day dessert yesterday. I am going to write it up later in the week and label it DIY pavlova. I made mini versions and left it deconstructed so people could make their own.
It was also rather delicious with yoghurt instead of cream (I may have had another one for dessert last night but had run out of cream).
Iron Chef Shellie says
omg bring back the Summer fruits and the weather to go with it!!
I usually tend to use passionfruit out of a can, tinned mandarins with kiwis and strawberries when I can’t get anything tropical 😀
Jen L @ Tartine & Apron Strings says
Awesome-looking meringues! Happy Spring time, by the way! It’s the end of summer here now…School starts tomorrow…
I want to bury my face in that lovely soft meringue and just keep eating and eating it…
Just turning Spring here. Kids finish the school year just before Christmas and go back to school early February. Hard to think of Christmas when it doesn’t get dark til 9pm but I’m getting used to it. 🙂
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
I am busy a few days and look what I missed! These sound wonderful – just love meringues. Also loved your veal story – I hate throwing away food but I’m often overly ambitious with my desires to cook.
Tired? Dried? If you can THAT with tired and dried fruits, I am slobbering over thinking what you will make with fresh juicy fruits…….
A Full Five Star!!
But then everything you have is a five star, and orgasmic.
See, you do learn something new everyday! I didn’t know that pavlova and meringue is basically the same recipe? I have been meaning to make pavlova, AND have always wanted to make meringue cookies……It may be time right? I am loving your addition of passion fruit….and kinda jealous you have some LOL! Hugs, Terra
Fresh, light, refreshing! Perfect for these last hot days of summer Maureen! Plus visually enticing too!
Lora @cakeduchess says
Enjoy nice spring weather:)We are maybe getting some slightly cooler temps (like in the 80’s instead of 90’s all day long!;)Beautiful meringue with that gorgeous fruit. You did a fabulous job.xx
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
Pavlovas are always so elegant and impressive, love them.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Oh! So there is no difference in meringue and pavlova! I thought it’s my lack of knowledge in baking that somehow I tried to believe it’s different things… glad you mentioned it. I must missed that point before. Such a beautiful dessert, although I’m not a big fan of meringues and I’m telling so because I think I’ve never had good one before. Until I get a good one I’m still not a fan…would love to try your meringues though! 🙂 We’re going to the boring fruit season. Mostly apple, oranges…and not so many varieties. Not looking forward to it yet.
Beth Michelle says
I think you did great with what you had to choose from. I love anything with passion fruit so right away you’re not at the bottom of the ladder in my book!
Tomorrow……these re going into my oven tomorrow.
Tired passion fruit or not, I think it turned out beautiful!! I’m sure it was delicious 🙂
atlantic highlands nj italian restaurants says
I never tasted Soft Meringues with Fruit and Cream before but now I think that its turn has come. I am very fond of dishes which has cream.
This is one of the most popular desserts in Australia – we love it.
Baker Street says
Love the fruit topping here! A well made meringue can turn out to be the best dessert! 🙂
Ohhhh so glad I went back and looked at this post. Beautiful little meringues but inspiration! I have 7 egg whites in the fridge! Yay!