This iconic Australian dessert was created in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It usually consists of a crisp baked meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit.
The meringues are very sweet and mallowy (think melt-in-your-mouth), but the tartness of the passion fruit balances their high sugar content perfectly. Our recipe calls for making individual meringue nests, but you can make one large shell if you prefer. Meringues can be finicky, so be sure to read the recipe instructions carefully from start to finish before you begin.
|3 large||egg whites (at room temperature)|
|1/2 teaspoon||pure vanilla extract|
|1 1/2 teaspoons||cornstarch|
|1 1/2 teaspoons||distilled white vinegar|
|1 cup||Passion Fruit Curd|
|1/2 cup||heavy (whipping) cream|
|1 medium||Earthbound Farm Organic Mango (peeled and thinly sliced)|
|2||Earthbound Farm Organic Kiwifruit (peeled and sliced)|
|3/4 cup||Passion Fruit Sauce|
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil and a 3.5- to 4-inch bowl or cup as guideline, trace the bowl to create 6 circles on the paper, leaving room for expansion between the circles. Turn the sheet over and replace it in the baking pan. You should still be able to see the outline of the circles. (If you allow the pencil marks to touch the egg white mixture, the pencil transfers to the meringues during baking.) Set aside.
For the best results, please follow the instructions for making meringues exactly as written, as they can be notoriously fickle. Make sure that the bowl of your electric mixer is completely clean and dry; any dirt or grease will prevent the egg whites from whisking to volume. Separate each egg over a small cup before adding it to the mixing bowl. Egg yolks are fatty, and even a tiny speck left in the whites will prevent them from whipping up.
Place the room-temperature egg whites in the mixing bowl and whisk on low speed until the mixture is foamy. Add the salt, increase the speed to medium, and whisk for a minute before increasing the speed to medium-high. Whisk until the whites form soft, billowy peaks. Do not overbeat.
With the mixer still on medium-high, add one tablespoon of sugar and beat for one minute. Repeat this procedure (adding one tablespoon of sugar and beating for one minute) until all of the sugar has been incorporated. Patience is required; if you add too much sugar at once, the whites will collapse and become runny. Once all of the sugar has been added and the meringue is stiff and glossy, beat in the vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and vinegar, and stir until blended. Fold the mixture into the beaten egg whites. Dab a little bit of meringue on the underside of the parchment paper at each corner to secure it in place. Spread the meringue mixture to form circles in the traced areas of the prepared baking sheet. Make a well about 1 inch deep with the back of a spoon in each meringue. Smooth the exterior sides of the shells with an offset spatula.
Immediately transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. If you don't bake the meringues immediately after whisking, they'll begin to separate and weep during cooking. Bake until the outside of the meringue shells is firm and pale tan in color, about 75 to 90 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Peel off the baking paper and discard. Let the meringues cool completely on the wire rack. Meringues can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for 2 days.
Just before serving time, beat the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Whisk about one third of the whipped cream into the Passion Fruit Curd to lighten it, then fold in the remainder of the whipped cream. Fill each meringue shell with some of the mousse. Decoratively arrange some of the mango and kiwi slices atop the mousse, and then spoon some of the Passion Fruit Sauce over each serving. The meringues can be assembled and refrigerated up to 4 hours ahead of serving.