Dining In With Ina and a Not-So-Perfect Pavlova

By: Guest Blogger
MIXED_BERRY_PAVLOVA

MIXED_BERRY_PAVLOVA

©2012 Food Network

2012 Food Network

One of the most seasonally delicious things about spring is the abundance of fresh berry desserts found on so many restaurant menus. Fortunately, I live a few blocks away from perennial NYC hot-spot Balthazar which serves a Berry Pavlova just as elegant as the ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova, for whom it was named. It is a fluffy delight for any sugar addict, like myself. However my patience for making a dinner reservation is not always in line with the timing of my confectionery craving, so why not try Ina Garten's Mixed Berry Pavlova at home?

The recipe calls for strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries over a sugary meringue cloud topped with a Framboise infused raspberry sauce. Whole Foods or any green market will have an excellent selection of berries around this time of year and strawberries are unusually cheap right now. While this is not great news for the farmers, strawberry lovers are very lucky!

In my first attempt I "sped up" the process by not waiting for the eggs to come to room temperature. I knew this dessert would take some time but I didn't have all day, so what difference would it make? Apparently, a BIG difference! I started out with a gloppy egg mess that I had to discard as the peaks and valleys I was hoping for did not come to fruition. For my second try, I decided to immerse the eggs in very warm water to bring them up to room temperature quickly but not cook them. Ta-dah! In ten minutes I had room temperature eggs with whisked peaks and valleys to follow.

After an hour and a half of baking the meringue at 180 degrees and an hour of cooling in the oven I had a luxurious large disc. I added the fresh berries, whipped cream and raspberry sauce before cutting not-so-perfect slices as the entire Pavlova cracked from my cake knife. While it was not as elegant as Balthi's it tasted just as sweet. However, if you are serving this to guests I would highly suggest making individual Pavlovas maintaining the delicate appearance before cracking through!

See how Ina makes berry pavlova or click through Nigella's chocolate pavlova how-to. Plus, find more recipes for berry desserts and springtime favorites in our Spring Produce Guide.

—Reena Mehta
Keep Reading

Next Up

Pavlova Is Having a Moment

The story of Anna Pavlova — arguably the most-famous Russian prima ballerina of her age — is actually a darker one than most people know.

Dining Out: Diners

The wide variety of foods at diners means there is something there for every customer, but the options usually aren't the healthiest. You don't have to settle for the baked potato or cottage cheese and fruit salad though.

Historic Diners

There are approximately 38 diners on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit one this summer—just take the National Park's Service advice and call to confirm they're open before you hit the road.

Ina's Country Dessert Platter

The Country Dessert Platter from this episode is super easy to prepare!

Ina Garten Bio

Get to know Ina Garten, host of Barefoot Contessa.

Dining Out: Fair Food

One of the highlights of my childhood was going with my parents to street fairs and carnivals. My dad made it a point that we try everything from the gyros to Polish sausages to caramel apples. By the time we rolled home, we were all moaning and groaning from stomach aches

Healthier Dining Out: Chinese

Admit it, you’ve got the local Chinese restaurant on speed dial. Chinese is at the top of many people’s list of favorite cuisines. Here are some tips on how to order next time your in the mood for Chinese take-out.

Chefs' Picks: Diners

When chefs want to wind down and ditch the fancy food, they often head to their local diners. Here are their faves.

Healthier Dining Out: Indian

In my single days, I frequently dined on Indian food and found the biggest advantage is to know the lingo when looking for healthier choices.

On TV