The strawberry season is not over yet and there are a few more strawberry recipes in our pipeline. My mother prepared this really amazing dessert the other day, called Strawberry Pavlova. A Pavlova is a meringue based dessert and it is said that it originally comes from Australia and New Zealand, where it still is a typical dessert which is enjoyed during the holidays.
She gave it that certain something by adding some Cointreau to the strawberries and basil sugar as a topping. I am not exaggerating, when saying that the combination of these flavors was really outstanding. I have never eaten basil with a sweet dish before, but it perfectly harmonized with the ripe strawberries.
Recipe for Strawberry Pavlova with basil-sugar
- 500 g strawberries
- 4 g egg white
- Dash of salt
- 175 g sugar
- 250 ml cream
- 1 tsp of vinegar (for the gloss of the meringue, the stability and the crisp outside and soft inside)
- 1 tsp of vanilla sugar
- 2 bunches of basil
- 2 Tbsp of white rock sugar
- Preheat the oven at 200°C and prepare a tray with baking paper
- Beat the egg white with the salt and slowly add the sugar until it is a shiny, stiff mass. Add the vanilla sugar and the vinegar.
- Put the meringue mass on the baking tray in circled shapes with a diameter of about 10 cm (one per person). Try to make a hollow in each of it, where you can drape the strawberries later on. In the end it is supposed to look like a little plate.
- Reduce the heat of the oven down to 150°C and place the tray in lower half of the oven. Bake the meringue for 15 mins, then reduce temperature to 120°C and bake it for the next 2 – 2.5 hours while leaving the stove door slightly open. The meringues need to dry, you might want to turn them after half of the time. Then wait until cooled down.
- Cut the washed strawberries in small pieces and marinate them with some Cointreau.
- Wash the basil and pick off the leaves, chop roughly. Mix it with the rock sugar in a blender until you have a sort of “sugar pesto”.
- Whip the cream.
- Put the meringues on a plate, fill the hollows with the whipped cream, put the strawberries on top and garnish with the basil sugar.
- Feel the different flavours in your mouth and enjoy!