Pavlova with Red Berries, Lime, and Hibiscus, for #SundaySupper
Pavlova is perfect for Passover! It’s gluten-free and made with no chemical leaveners. Just fluffy-sweet meringue, baked until crisp on the outside and marshmallow-soft within, this cake is layered with juicy red berries, tart lime curd, and candied hibiscus flowers in syrup.
I am even more pleased than usual to bring you today’s post, because this recipe was truly a challenge for me, from start to finish! I’m so happy that I was able to work out all the kinks, so that I can pass the good word along to all of you…
Also, this post is my first contribution to a great cause: Sunday Supper. This movement, started by Isabel Laessig of Family Foodie, is a mission to bring back Sunday supper around the family table, in every home. Isabel, and I, believe that we can empower our families by nurturing them around the family table. This is something my husband and I have been making a priority since before our kids were born. Now that they are 4 and 5, we’re already beginning to see how much this time together means to them, and the positive effects of it.
I have always known that eating supper around the family table is the best nourishment we can give our families. It is about so much more than just the food that is served. It is something that the entire family looks forward to. It is about commitment to each other, positive communication and time together. In my heart, I know that this is the most important thing I have done for my family.
I could think of no better time to join forces with this terrific group than now, just a few days before I and my brood trek to my husband’s extended family’s massive Passover seder, where we expect to be seated for supper with around 30+ family members, focused on tradition, faith, devotion to our ancestry, and the significance of food in our lives throughout history.
Now on to the recipe!
So, a few weeks ago, as I was enjoying my favorite pasttime (looking at recipes and coming up with ideas for YinMom YangMom), I had what I thought was an absolute stroke of genius! I can’t quite remember what initially sparked the idea, but somewhere along the way, it hit me: WOULDN’T PAVLOVA BE THE PERFECT PASSOVER DESSERT?!?
Haha, if I had only known, in that moment, the rocky road that lay ahead of me…
You may remember me mentioning, in a prior post, that my husband and I have generally found Passover desserts to be a bit lacking. I mean, it’s hard, when you can’t use most kinds of flour, and no yeast, or baking powder, to really come up with a showstopper of a dessert.
Pavlova! A lighter-than-air, tender-crisp, marshmallowy confection made from whipped egg whites!
I had visions of a towering cloud of a cake, heaped with gorgeous seasonal fruits, maybe an unusual yet intriguing ingredient no one’s ever tried before, topped with pillows of freshly whipped cream…!
I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but I will say that it took me about six tries before I finally got the result I had been hoping for.
I will, however, share some pearls of wisdom I picked up along the way:
1) Always crack each egg into a separate bowl before adding it to the mix. If you accidentally break a yolk (like I did on the fourth egg), and even the tiniest speck of it gets in with the whites, they won’t whip up properly. Believe me, I tried. The whole batch is spoiled.
2) Don’t mess with the formula. I generally like my desserts a little less sweet, so I tried decreasing the sugar a little. Bad move. The meringues collapsed. Better to balance the sweetness with fresh fruit and omit the sugar from the whipped cream.
3) A traditional Pavlova contains a very small amount of cornstarch and vinegar, to stabilize the egg whites. Passover dietary laws are a bit ambiguous about cornstarch. (Read more about that here.) If in doubt, leave it out. A pinch of cream of tartar will achieve the same purpose. If your family is of Sephardic descent, or if they are just not too worried about a teaspoon or so of cornstarch, here’s a fabulous and authentic recipe. I made this too and I can vouch for it.
4) Slow and steady wins the race! It’s a bit of a balancing act, getting the sugar into the whites. You want the sugar to have time to dissolve, but if you beat it for too long, the meringue will become dry. Stiff, glossy peaks are the goal. Once you have foamy, soft peaks, add the sugar in a very slow, steady stream, and keep the mixer speed at medium to medium-high, until all the sugar has been added. Then you can crank up the speed if it’s still not stiff enough.
5) After baking, you may notice little droplets of liquified sugar on the surface of the meringues. This is called weeping. If so, turn off the heat, prop the door open with a wooden spoon, and allow them to dry out and cool slowly in the oven.
6) The meringues can be made ahead, but the Pavlova should not be assembled until just before serving. If it is assembled too far ahead of time, it will slump and become soggy. Reserve the hibiscus syrup until the very end, to drizzle over each portion. Hibiscus flowers in syrup are deliciously tart and fruity, with a bit of a gingery bite, and can be purchased here.
Like a fluffy sweet cloud! Perfection! (…finally!)
The lime curd gives a lovely tart counterpoint to the marshmallowy creaminess… I’ve used a storebought version to save time, but here is a great recipe if you’d like to make it yourself.
And if you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of Red Zinger tea, then you can imagine what the berries and hibiscus bring to the party.
Make this for your family’s Seder this year! Jaws will drop! It’s so beautiful and delicious and different, and just perfect for a Passover dessert. It will truly be the star of the show!
I developed this dessert to be a part of #SundaySupper’s Easter and Passover recipe exchange. Big thank yous go out to Carla of Chocolate Moosey, for hosting the event, and Beate of the Not So Cheesy Kitchen, for mentoring me as a first-time participant. Please be sure to check out their blogs as well, and leave a friendly comment!
- How To Color Easter Eggs Naturally from Shockingly Delicious
Breakfast, Breads, and Buns
- Bunny Rabbit Bread from In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
- Easter Brunch Creme Brulee Baked Oatmeal from In The Kitchen With KP
- Fresh Blueberries Hot Cross Buns from My Cute Bride
- Hot Cross Cinnamon Buns from girlichef
- Jamaican Easter Spice Bun from The Lovely Pantry
- Paska – Ukranian Easter Bread from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Portuguese Easter Bread | Folar de Pascoa from Family Foodie
- Resurrection Rolls from Neighbor Food
Appetizers and Sides
- Asparagus, Brie & Ham Crostini from Daily Dish Recipes
- French Gratin Potatoes (Dauphinoise) from Simply Gourmet
- Lemon Glazed Carrots from Curious Cuisiniere
- Not So Deviled Eggs from Country Girl in the Village
- Orange Raisin Couscous from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Potato and Leek Gratin from Webicurean
- Spinach Spaetzle (Spinat Spaetzle) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Slow Cooker Honey Glazed Ham from The Meltaways
- Sicilian “Enchiladas” from The Cooking Actress
- Alebele – Goan Coconut filled Pancake from Masala Herb
- Bunny-Approved Baked Easter Doughnuts from The Weekend Gourmet
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake from Chocolate Moosey
- Coconut and M&M’s Cookie from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream from Juanita’s Cocina
- Coconut Cupcakes from Magnolia Days
- Cream Cheese Candies from Cravings of a Lunatic
- Easter Cookies: Carrots in Dirt from The Urban Mrs
- Easter Egg Cookies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easter Simnel Cake from Happy Baking Days
- Exotic Walnut Cookies from What Smells So Good?
- Honey Panna Cotta with Grand Marnier Roasted Figs from Gourmet Drizzles
- Japanese Easter, Petit Fours and Flowers from Ninja Baking
- Nutella Easter Egg Candy from The Messy Baker
- Old-Fashioned Peanut Rolled Eggs from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Painted Sugar Cookies from Ruffles and Truffles
- Strawberry Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious
- Charoset from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Flourless Chocolate Torte from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Moroccan Haroset from MarocMama
- Pavlova with Red Berries, Lime and Hibiscus from YinMom YangMom
Wine Pairing Recommendations for #SundaySupper Religious Feasts from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Get in on the twitter party! It happens every Sunday at 7pm Eastern… Just follow the hashtag #SundaySupper and include it in all your tweets to join the chat. And check out the #SundaySupper Pinterest Board, too!
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? You can sign up by clicking here.
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Pavlova is perfect for Passover! It's gluten-free and made with no chemical leaveners. Just fluffy-sweet meringue, baked until crisp on the outside and marshmallow-soft within, this cake is layered with juicy red berries, tart lime curd, and candied hibiscus flowers in syrup.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Beat the egg whites together with the cream of tartar, on medium speed, until foamy.
Gradually add the sugar in very slow stream. (If the mixture looks thin, turn up the speed on the mixer to incorporate more air, but do not overbeat the whites before the sugar is able to dissolve into the mixture.)
Continue to whip until stiff, glossy peaks are achieved. (Do not overbeat.)
- Add the vanilla.
- Divide the mixture equally onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and form into three six-inch discs.
- Drop the oven temperature down to 250 degrees and bake for one hour, or until dry to the touch but not browned.
- Turn off the oven, and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Cool the meringues in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks.
- Layer the meringues with lime curd, berries, whipped cream, and hibiscus flowers. Garnish with hibiscus syrup.