I recently had a lot of fun turning a recipe of my grandmother’s into a tea towel for a birthday present for my mom. My grandmother had written out this loose recipe for me when I first was doing my own cooking. Like all of my grandmother’s cooking, it is a bit vague as she didn’t measure or use recipes. I was able to use it to make a pretty good facsimile of her beef and barley vegetable soup though.
To create the tea towel, I scanned in and cleaned up the hand-written recipe on my computer and added a colorful border. To make the fabric, I used the Spoonflower website to order a copy of the image printed onto linen cotton canvas. All I had to do when the fabric got here was wash and hem it and it was ready to use. Next time I would make the print smaller and embellish with some personal drawings of carrots and such, but I am pretty happy with how this came out.
Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina challenged the members of The Daring Kitchen to make a Pavlova this month. A classic Pavlova is a meringue based dessert common in Australia and consists of a crisp, light meringue base topped with fruit and cream. They can be made in large or individual sizes or even stacked like cakes. Pavlovas are a great summer dessert with their light consistency and the variety of berries that are available. If the weather isn’t humid, the bases can be made ahead and guests can assemble their own desserts with a variety of toppings.
I chose to make individual sized Pavlovas in small batches so I could try a variety of flavors. For the bases, I made vanilla, chocolate and raspberry. For toppings, I made raspberry curd, lemon curd, vanilla whip cream, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries. It was pretty fun to mix and match. My favorite base by far was the chocolate (surprise, surprise).
Light, crisp meringue bases topped with cream, curd and fresh fruit.
For the Base:
1 cold egg white
⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup granulated sugar
flavoring, as desired
For the toppings:
¼ cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
splash of vanilla extract
mixed berries, washed, dried and sliced
Preheat the oven to 200F/93C and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon liner.
In a small bowl, beat the egg white and cream of tarter until soft peaks form.
While beating on low speed, add the granulated sugar a Tbsp at a time until combined.
Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Beat in any flavor additions just until combined.
Using a spoon or a piping bag, divide the meringue out onto the baking sheet into 4 circles. Using the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the center. This will be where your toppings will go when the meringue is baked.
Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the meringues to sit in the warm oven for another hour. The meringue should seem dry to the touch on the outside. Do not open the door during the cooling process.
Remove the meringues from the oven and set them on plates to cool.
To serve, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla.
Place a dollop of whip cream in the center of the meringue disks and top with fruit curd, sauces and sliced fruit as desired.
Variations: For chocolate meringue, beat in 10g/1 heaping Tbsp of sifted dutch process cocoa. For raspberry meringues, beat in 2 Tbsp. powdered freeze dried raspberries. For vanilla meringues, beat in a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.