• SocialMama Contributor

Winter Holiday Pavlova Recipe

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

The Holidays are my favorite time of the year. It’s a time to catch up with family friends and eat...A LOT! Each year, we throw a big holiday party and everyone brings a dish. The appetizers and main dishes always vary but dessert seems to remain the same: sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, and apple pie (we really like pie). This year I thought I would switch it up and throw in “the new holiday dessert”. I wanted something light, yet festive with all the warm spices I love from the traditional pies. I always try to buy ingredients that are in season, so when I found beautiful persimmons at the market I just knew I could find a way to incorporate them.

Persimmons are a winter fruit with flavors of a soft & sweet ripe peach an aftertaste of a tart apricot.

I decided I would make a traditional dessert where I could incorporate my fresh market finds. Pavlova kept popping up because it is a captivating and seasonally versatile dessert. This elegant meringue can become sweet, savory, nutty, fruity, rich or light. Since winter is upon us and the crisp cool air is already knocking at my door, I decided to top mine with all the winter fruits I found at the market: persimmons, pomegranate and cranberries.


Pro tip: When buying persimmons you want to look for ones deep in color and slightly soft. This will ensure you are buying them at peak ripeness for maximum flavor. Here is my recipe!



Winter Holiday Pavlova Recipe


For the meringue:

- 8 large egg whites

- 2 1/2 cups of fine sugar

- 1 tbsp of lemon juice

For the persimmon jam:

- 2-3 ripe, fresh persimmons washed, cut and puréed (should yield 1 ½ cups)

- ¾ cup of sugar

- 3 tbsp of lemon juice


For the sugar cranberries:

- 1 cup of fresh cranberries

- 1 ½ cups of sugar

- 1 cup of boiled water

For the other toppings:

- 1 cup of fresh, organic pomegranate seeds

- 3-5 sprigs of fresh, organic rosemary

- 1-2 cups cool whip or homemade whipped cream

- Cinnamon and nutmeg for dusting


Method:

Persimmon Jam:

1. Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Mix well and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to thicken.

2. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a glass jar until ready to use.

*The jam will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. It also can be made a few days in advance.


Sugared Cranberries:

1. Boil water in a small sauce pot. Add 1 ½ cups of sugar to it and turn off heat up. Stir until you no longer see granules in the water mixture.

2. Pour into a glass jar and let cool completely in the refrigerator.

3. Wash cranberries and place into a medium size glass bowl. Lightly Pour some of the simple syrup over them and mix.

4. Add remaining sugar into the bowl and toss. If they are not coated evenly add more sugar to them.

5. If watery, just add more sugar and toss.

*Can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept in a refrigerated, air-tight container.


Meringue:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Whip egg whites on high speed in a glass bowl until soft peaks are formed, approximately 2-3 minutes.

3. Slowly add in sugar, but be sure to never stop whipping. Once the sugar is incorporated, continue to whip the mixture until stiff peaks form.

4. Add lemon juice and continue to beat for another 4-5 minutes or until the mixture is nice and thick with a glossy shine. Pro tip: to check if your mixture is coming along correctly, take a small amount and rub it between your finger and thumb. If it feels gritty then beat it for a little longer.

5. Prepare your baking tray by lining it with parchment paper. Add a small drop of the mixture on the tray before the paper to help it stick.

6. Scoop the meringue into the center of the tray forming a large mound. This is where you can shape it any way you like! Use a small flat spatula or the back of a spoon around the outside of your mound in an upward swishing motion to create rolling peaks.

7. Place the tray into your oven and immediately lower heat to 230 degrees F.

8. Bake for about 3 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Use the oven light to see how it’s coming along.

9. Turn off the oven and leave the Pavlova in the oven with the door closed until it’s completely cooled, approximately 5 hours. You can also leave it overnight to ensure it’s fully cooled. The temptation to open the door will be hard, but it’s well worth the wait!


Assembling the Pavlova:

1. Gently spread the persimmon jam over the top of the Pavlova.

2. Dollop on the cool whip or homemade whipped cream.

3. Top with fresh persimmons, pomegranate seeds and rosemary sprigs.

4. Lastly, combine nutmeg and cinnamon in a sifter and dust over the top.



Beware! Your pavlova might flop a little or cave. That is OK, just add more toppings to cover it. You can also use coconut cream as a non-dairy option for the whip, but take note that coconut cream has a higher water content to it so if it’s sitting out for long it will begin to break down.


Desserts can be intimidating even for the most seasoned bakers. Many chefs will even go as far to say they aren’t bakers! But though this dessert may look or sound intimidating, with a little care during preparation this will quickly become an easy favorite. Bon appetite!


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About the Contributor:

Holliann Barry is a military wife currently stationed in San Francisco. She has a culinary degree and is passionate about food and health. Holliann recently enrolled into another nutrition program that will focus on pregnancy, postpartum and baby nutrition. She recently launched an Instagram page to help mamas make healthy choices, learn recipes and guide them on how to make homemade baby food. Holliann is also a MentorMama for SocialMama.

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