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Pavlova with Crème Anglaise

Pavlova with Crème Anglaise
Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this dessert traditionally consists of a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit. (The built-up sides of the pavlova are said to resemble a tutu.) Pavlova is considered the national dessert of Australia, although some food historians claim it was first created in New Zealand. Whatever its source, there is no debate—this dessert makes a spectacular ending to a meal. Our version combines the meringues with crème anglaise and toasted almonds.

Ingredients:

For the meringues:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups crème anglaise (see related recipe
     at right)
  • 1⁄2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1⁄3 cup sliced toasted almonds

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner.

To make the meringues, in the bowl of an electric mixer, using a handheld whisk, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 140°F on a candy thermometer, about 3 minutes.

Place the bowl on the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a quenelle scoop, form the meringue into egg shapes and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the meringues until they do not break when tapped on the bottom and are still white, about 4 hours. Alternatively, bake the meringues for 2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave them inside, without opening the oven door, for about 8 hours.

To serve, divide the crème anglaise among 4 bowls. Top each with 2 meringues, drizzle with 2 Tbs. caramel sauce and sprinkle with the almonds. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.