Crushed Raspberry and Strawberry Pavlova

We are still in a bit of an in between produce season, but the weather is warming up and the sun is out so I am craving fresh fruit desserts like it’s my job. I guess it kind of is…

crushed raspberry and strawberry pavlova | apt 2b baking co

We are still in a bit of an in between produce season, but the weather is warming up and the sun is out so I am craving fresh fruit desserts like it’s my job. I guess it kind of is my job…I love to make desserts like this pavlova because it is fairly low lift and aside from a low, slow bake in the oven for the meringue (which you can make the day before if it’s not too humid where you live) everything comes together in a few minutes.

The tart crushed raspberries provide some nice sauciness here and contrast well with sweet strawberries and the crisp, pillowy meringue. Make sure to use the best strawberries you can find for this dessert, and adjust the sugar to your personal tastes. In NYC we get some really nice organic berries from California but they are $$ so you may just want to bookmark this until they are in season locally where you live. The mini mint leaves are also totally optional, but they do add a nice freshness and beautiful pop of contrasting color.


Crushed Raspberry and Strawberry Pavlova

Crisp and chewy meringue, pillowy whipped cream, and sweet-tart berries are combined to make this super springy, and fairly simple dessert. Assemble just before serving for the best textural experience as the meringue will weep and melt as it sits.

Meringue

4 large egg whites

1 cup (200g) superfine sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Berries

1 pound of the best strawberries you can find

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

pinch salt

To Serve

1 cup (240ml) heavy cream 

1 tablespoon sugar

mint leaves

To make the meringue: Preheat the oven to 250ºF (130ºC/Gas Mark 1/2). Trace an 8-inch (20cm) circle onto a piece of parchment paper and flip it upside down on a baking sheet.

Stir the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a handheld electric mixer in a large bowl, beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar mixture about one tablespoon at a time until you have added all of the sugar and the egg whites are stiff and glossy about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar and mix for 30 more seconds.

Dollop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges of the traced circle. Make a shallow indent in the center of the meringue which will hold all of the delicious toppings. Bake the meringue for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the outside looks dry and slightly creamy in color. Turn off the oven and prop the door ajar with a wooden spoon. Let the meringue cool completely in the oven. It should feel firm and crackly when you press it, but will be soft and marshmallowy in the center. When cooled, you should be able to gently peel it off of the parchment paper and place it on a serving platter or cake stand.  

To make the topping: Slice the strawberries in half if they are small, quarters if they are large. Combine the raspberries, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and crush the berries with a fork. Gently stir in the strawberries and let the fruit macerate for a few minutes. Taste and add a bit more sugar if desired, keeping in mind that the meringue will be quite sweet.

Whip the cream and sugar together to soft peaks. Top the cooled meringue with the whipped heavy cream, followed by the berries. Sprinkle mint leaves over the top and serve immediately.

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie

I posted a photo of this sunshiney pumpkin pie a few days ago on Instagram and lots of you nice folks asked for the recipe, so here it is! Its the pumpkin pie recipe from my book a…

winter luxury pumpkin pie | apt 2b baking co.JPG

I posted a photo of this sunshiney pumpkin pie a few days ago on Instagram and lots of you nice folks asked for the recipe, so here it is! Its the pumpkin pie recipe from my book and it includes a few of my very favorite things - maple syrup, creme fraiche, and roasted squash puree. You can definitely use canned pumpkin puree too, but roasted butternut squash is nice if you have it. The crust in this photo was a little experiment that I am working on, but I have linked to my favorite crust below. Feel free to use what you like if you have another one though. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Winter Luxury Pumpkin Pie

from Sweeter off the Vine

Makes one 9-inch pie

 A couple of years ago, after attending the Common Ground Fair in Maine, I fell in love with the winter luxury pumpkin. Winter luxuries are an heirloom variety of pumpkin prized for their caramel infused flavor and smooth texture. They are admittedly hard to find, even in NYC, but if you can locate one where you live I highly suggest picking it up. They are about the size of a sugar pumpkin and they have beautiful netting on their skin, almost like a cantaloupe. Winter luxuries (that name!) have thinner skins than most hard winter squash so they can’t be stored as long as other varieties, which is part of the reason they have fallen out of favor with farmers. Substitute roasted butternut squash or canned pumpkin purée if winter luxury pumpkins aren’t available where you live. If you are concerned about over filling the pie shell, bake any extra filling alongside the pie in buttered ramekins until it puffs slightly in the center.

1 disc of your favorite pie crust - This is mine  

 2 cups (450g) roasted butternut squash purée (canned pumpkin works too!)

3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup (112g) crème fraîche

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 425ºF.

 To blind bake the crust:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8- inch thick. Place it into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate fold the edges under and crimp. Dock the crust with a fork. Chill the formed crust in the freezer for 15 minutes or until very firm. Line the chilled crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Slide the crust into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden and crisp. Carefully remove the parchment paper and weights then bake the crust for 10-15 more minutes or until light golden all over. If the crust puffs up at all while baking gently press it back into the pan with an offset spatula or fork. Let the crust cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

Turn the oven down to 350ºF. 

Whisk all of the filling ingredients together until well combined. Then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve for maximum smoothness.

 Put the baked pie shell on a baking sheet, then pour the filling mixture into the shell. Slide the pan into the oven and bake until the filling is slightly puffed and the center wiggles just slightly when you shake the pan, about 30 minutes. Cool the pie completely before serving with a dollop of whipped cream.