Individual Pavlovas With Fresh Fruit

Not everyone wants to indulge in a rich or heavy dessert after dinner. Treat your guests to these light individual pavlovas topped with fresh fruit. The dessert is a perfect combination of tangy and sweet, thanks to the juicy pineapple and mango and tart berries on top. This would be a festive ending to a 4th of July celebration if you omit the tropical fruit and just stick with mixed berries!

3 egg whites
175 mL (3/4 cup) sugar
5 mL (1 tsp) cornstarch
5 mL (1 tsp) white vinegar
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 starfruit, sliced
240 mL (1 cup) pineapple, cubed
475 mL (2 cups) strawberries, sliced
240 mL (1 cup) blueberries
240 mL (1 cup) raspberries
240 mL (1 cup) blackberries
475 mL (2 cups) whipped cream

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks appear. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly, until stiff peaks start to form. Fold in cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla.

On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spread mixture into eight rounds, each about 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter. Use the back side of a large spoon to slightly hollow each disk’s centre. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven, keep door closed and let pavlovas set and cool inside oven for about 1 hour.

Remove cookie sheet from oven and invert pavlovas onto a work surface. Peel parchment from bottoms and arrange them on a large platter. Serve alongside bowls of mango, starfruit, pineapple, mixed berries and whipped cream, and let guests top their own treat. Serves 8.

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Image(s): James Pattyn, 2 For Life Media