Impress your friends with these Mini Mixed Berry Pavlovas! Mini mounds of vanilla bean flavored meringue are piled with lightly sweetened berries. So pretty and so easy to make!
Happy 2017, peeps! We are five days into the New Year and I’ve already broken the one and ONLY resolution I made. I don’t make resolutions. I don’t. Never have; however, this year I wanted to hold myself accountable for this one little thing.
You see, I am notorious for having clean piles of laundry in my basement. When I say piles I mean mountains and mountains of clean laundry that I never get around to folding. The struggle is real, people.
Every once in a while I take a day and decide that yes, I will fold this laundry. And I do. I give it the good old ‘College Try’, whatever the hell that means. I spend all day folding fitted sheets, pants, socks, shirts etc. All damn day. At the end of it I feel super accomplished and I go down to the basement for no other reason, than to stare at my freshly folded clothes. It’s a sight to behold. Folded clothes? Shiiiettt. That’s a feat of massive proportions!
I promise to fold every stitch the second the dryer pings. And I do. For a while, anyway. Like once, I did it consistently for about three months. One distracted or super busy day is all it took. The clothes were unceremoniously dumped on my folding table. And that my friends is a super slippery slope. Before I knew it my clean laundry pile was a clean laundry Mount Everest sized mountain.
Five days ago I had rows of neatly folded laundry. Today I have what resembles a small hill and growing.
But enough about me. Are you making any resolutions this year? Do you, like me, have issues holding yourself accountable? Is there a support group we can join?
Now flow with me, let’s talk about these Mini Mixed Berry Pavlovas. I meant to post these before Christmas. If you noticed, I took a break from this space for about two weeks. Sooooo if eating baked vanilla bean meringues topped high with fruit doesn’t gel with your “New Year, Healthy Me” vibe – Then… Well… Then you’ll have to come back when you’ve decided to be fat one more year, ‘cause I ain’t changing my sugar ‘all the things’ flow!
So these Pavlovas. Very easy to make and such a great use of egg whites. Egg whites are whipped with sugar. Vanilla bean paste is added (for flava’), the meringue is whipped ‘till peaks are stiff, stiff. Billowy meringue is spooned into a piping bag and piped into nests. Doesn’t have to be pretty. These aren’t pretty. Bake for about 25 minutes.
Once the meringue nests cool they’re topped with macerated fruit flavored with more vanilla bean paste.
Simple. Tasty. Pretty. Aren’t they pretty? It’s a perfect dessert for brunch with the ladies. Light and sweet, slightly tart from the berries. You can make them smaller, much smaller and give the fruit small dice.
Whatever floats, ‘ya know?
Mixed Berry Mini Pavlovas
- For the macerated berries
- Sliced cherries - 1 cup
- Sliced strawberries - 1 cup
- Whole blackberries - 1 cup
- Granulated sugar - 2 1/2 tablespoons
- Vanilla bean paste - 1 heaping tablespoon
- For the meringues
- Eggs whites, room temperature - 3 ounces (from about 3 large eggs)
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Cream of tartar - 1/4 teaspoon
- Granulated sugar - 1 scant cup
- Vanilla bean paste - 2 teaspoons
Macerate the berries:
Add the the berries, sugar, and vanilla bean paste to a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cover and set aside in room temperature for 30-45 minutes, allowing the fruit to soften slightly and release their juices. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the meringue cookies:
Preheat oven to 250°Fahrenheit and line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium/high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt, and in a steam add the granulated sugar. Increase the speed to high and continue to whip until glossy and medium peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla bean paste and whip over high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks, another 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.
Fit a piping bag with a round or decorative star tip. Place the piping bag inside a deep measuring cup and scoop meringue inside the piping bag. Give it a turn or two to seal shut.
Begin by piping a large dot in the center of your meringue nest. Squeeze the piping bag and in one continuous motion make a tight, but larger circle around the dot twice. Lift the piping bag and then go around once more right above the piped circle. Alternatively, if you don’t own a piping bag, spoon mounds of meringue on the baking sheet and make an indentation in the center with a large spoon. Repeat.
Place cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. When done, cookies should be dry to the touch and when lifted should remove easily from the parchment. My suggestion is to check at the 20 minute mark. If cookies do not remove from the parchment easily, leave for an extra five minutes. After 25 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the oven to come to room temperature with meringues inside.
Remove meringues from the cookie sheet and place in a wire rack to cool completely. Remove macerated fruit from the fridge. Divide macerated fruit and syrup amongst each meringue nest. Serve immediately.
Makes about 8-10 pavlovas.