Sometimes, “leftover” and “free” makes wonderful, wonderful things. :) I thought, as did everyone else at the table, that this pavlova turned out beautifully. First the meringue, made from leftover egg whites (from ensaimadas that use so many yolks) that had been frozen for days and defrosted and whipped into a frenzy and formed into a high “base”. It colored ever so slightly despite the careful attention to 200-220F oven temperatures but I did add a lot of vanilla to the whites as well. See this old post for detailed instructions on how to make the meringue.
Second, the whipped cream, 2/3 or a brick of whipping cream languishing in the fridge was whipped with some caster sugar to add just a bit more sweetness. That was piled onto the top of the meringue and caused the fragile egg white case to fracture and buckle under the weight of the cream. Don’t scrimp on the cream. On top of that, 4 punnets of gorgeous strawberries from Benguet, a surprise “suki gift” from my vegetable provedore at the FTI AANI market who I have been visiting for more than 10 years. Wash the berries and de-stem 90% of them, picking out the 10% of the berries that are the most beautiful and have the nicest leaves left on which you set aside for garnishing the dessert. Cut the larger berries into half and leave the smaller ones whole. Taste them and if a bit tarter than you like, sprinkle with a bit of caster sugar and store in the fridge for an hour or two, letting some natural liquid baste the jewels…
Just before serving, add the whipped cream, pile on the berries, add a few tablespoons worth of leftover raspberry coulis from the fridge and half a pomegranate worth of arils and arrange the “perfect” whole berries all over the top. Sprinkle some baby mint leaves (from Gejo at Malipayon farms) and a final dusting of powdered sugar and there you have it… Stunning, no? I have to remember to make this next Christmas as it was such a crowd pleaser and it looks so holiday like. Then again, you could form the meringue into a heart shape and do this for Valentine’s Day instead… Total out of pocket cost for this beauty? Next to nothing. :)