I was raised in a Jewish home and like many Jewish homes, ours was filled with traditions that centered around food. Passover with its ban on eating leavened items, was filled with food related traditions. Besides the obvious matzoh, we had some other items that were a part of our Passover seder. For years, dessert was a spice cake that was made with matzoh cake meal. It was not wonderful. My brother came up with a flourless chocolate torte at some point. It was okay. Then came the Pavlova. If you aren’t familiar with it Pavlova is a meringue named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova that is most popular in Australia. It’s normally topped with fruit and whipped cream. It wasn’t a huge hit. But as it is with most holidays, I find myself thinking of my mom and I decided to share this treat that she so loved with my kids. I figured it would be best to make mini versions just in case they didn’t love them.
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar – superfine if you can find it
1 tsp vanilla
1. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form.
2. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the peaks are more stiff.
3. Spoon onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
4. Bake at 250 for 90 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven and leave the pan in until the oven is cool and the Pavlova have formed a crust.
Your Pavlova should have a slightly firm crust and be soft on the inside. I topped the mini Pavlova with some white chocolate I melted with a little bit of cream with the fruit on the side. The verdict? A huge hit. There were 12 of these gems and they were devoured pretty fast. I told my boys how Grandma used to make it for Passover and it was unanimous. I am to make a large one for Easter with whipped cream and fruit. Yay!
There are many variations of this. Feel free to invent your own by using almond, orange or lemon extract. I saw some chocolate ones and even one made with Nutella. I’m going to stick with this version. I’m happy to bring another food tradition from my childhood to my children.