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Mini Pavlovas with Pastry Cream and Strawberries

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Mini Pavlovas

Mini Pavlovas

S. Wongkaew

These mini pavlovas will tantalize taste buds and it'll be hard to stop as just one.

Mini meringues are filled with vanilla-infused pastry cream and topped with fresh strawberries. It's a dazzling combination.

Pastry cream is a staple in pastry kitchens and is used to fill treats such as profiteroles and tarts. The thick, rich custard is made of egg yolks, flour, cornstarch, milk, a little butter and vanilla essence. It's very easy to make, just don't forget that it takes 2 hours to chill.

The pastry cream can be made a day ahead. Just keep it refrigerated.

Ingredients:

  • MINI MERINGUES
  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature (keep egg yolks for pastry cream)
  • 1 cup of Castor sugar, also known as "Berry sugar"
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
  • PASTRY CREME
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Castor sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 Tbsp room temperature butter
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • FRUIT TOPPING
  • 10 strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Kiwi fruit, thinly sliced (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the pastry cream. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons castor sugar in a small bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the yolks and then whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
  2. In a saucepan heat the milk and remaining 2 tablespoons of Castor sugar over a medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and whisk half of hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Pour the custard back into the pan, whisking continuously, and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and vigorously for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Use a rubber spatula to press custard through a mesh sieve into a shallow bowl. Cover surface of pastry cream with waxed paper or cling wrap and chill pastry cream for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 275F (140C) and place the rack in middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with foil. Set aside.
  5. In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with a clean electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form soft peaks.
  6. Continue to beat the eggs whites while gently sprinkling the sugar into the egg whites, one teaspoon at a time. Don't just lump the sugar in the bowl and don't stop beating until you finish the sugar. Your egg whites should now be glossy stiff peaks.
  7. Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla and gently fold the mixture again.
  8. Use a spoon to spread the meringue into 4-inch rounds on the foil. Make sure you have about 2 inches of space in between each meringue. Use the back of the spoon to make a small well in the middle of each meringue.
  9. Bake meringues in the oven for 30 minutes or until they turn a light pinkish eggshell color.
  10. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringue cool completely for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. As the meringue cools, it will crack slightly.
  11. To assemble the mini pavlovas, fill each meringue with about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream. Top with sliced strawberries and kiwi fruit if you're using it. Serve immediately.

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