In time for May 17th I wanted to share a recipe for pavlova. It’s not traditional Norwegian in the sense of originating from here, but it has become a staple in May festivities around the country. It’s a airy, sweet, delicious dessert to serve.
For those unfamiliar, May 17th is Norwegian Constitution Day. We celebrate the signing of our constitution in 1814, the first step towards our freedom from Sweden in 1905. As a historian it’s a topic I can go on about for a while, but since this after all is a food blog, I will focus on the food part!
This year celebrations will be different thanks to the current Covid-19 situation, but normally we celebrate big here in Norway (And quite a few places around the world!) We have barnetoget which is kids parades, our schools line up by the years and march the streets. There are games and events at schools and community buildings. And of course, there are lots and lots of food!
There are lots of variations by region of course, in my family we fire up the grill and usually have some sort of dessert. Pavlova turned to be my new favorite a few years ago, so it will go on the table again this weekend too!
- 4 egg whites.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- 17.5 oz sugar.
- 2 teaspoons corn starch.
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar.
- 4 egg yolks.
- 10 oz milk.
- 1.6 oz sugar.
- 1 tablespoon corn starch.
- 3 gelatin plates.
- 10 oz heavy whipping cream.
- 1 pack of strawberries (Cut to bite sized pieces.)
- 1 pack of raspberries.
- 1 pack of blueberries.
- Any other fruit you'd like to add.
- Preheat the oven to 250F.
- Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip them with a little bit of salt until it lightly foams up. Then turn up the speed on the mixer until the bubbles are small and even. When the foam starts peaking, add sugar, a little at the time. Whip until the mixture is smooth and shiny and all the sugar is dissolved. Don't whip it too long, then the texture might turn grainy or lumpy.
- Sift in the corn starch and add the white wine vinegar, slowly folding it in with a spatula.
- Put parchment paper on a baking pan and draw a circle about 9.5-10 inches, essentially to make sure you don't spread the pavlova mixture out so it's bigger than your serving platter, then add the mixture within the circle.
- Bake the cake for about 1.5 hours on the bottom rack in the oven until the mixture is crisp. Then turn off the oven and let it stand in the oven until it's cooled. (It works great to make the meringue the night before, then just let it cool in the oven overnight, with the door slightly open.)
- Add the egg yolks, milk, sugar, and corn starch to a pan. Cut up the gelatin plates and add to the pan as well.
- Heat up the pan while stirring until the custard thickens up. When it has the consistency of thick yogurt remove from stove and pour it over in a bowl.
- Let the custard cool, then slightly whip the custard so it's even and smooth. In another bowl, take the cream and whip it.
- Mix custard and whipped cream.
To make the custard:
Put the meringue base on the serving platter, and add the custard on top, then decorating with the fruits.
To keep the meringue nice and crisp, it's best to wait with the assembly until right before serving to avoid the meringue getting soggy.