Welcome back to Southern Comfort Food!
Today’s recipe, in honor of Valentine’s Day, isn’t strictly Southern Comfort Food. But I wanted to share something festive and sweet and this recipe came to mind–from the first summer I spent in Ireland.
Keeping in mind that I would need to do research, I did my doctoral dissertation on Irish theatre. As a result, I spent two wonderful summers in Dublin, researching, attending theatre, shopping, and eating some of the best food you’d ever imagine.
The first summer I was there I stayed with a wonderful Irish woman, Mrs. Olive Gogarty, the aunt of a fellow student (he later became a priest). He knew I was going to be in Ireland and alone for six weeks, so he made the arrangements.
I had a fantastic time and Olive took care of me like I was family. She cooked breakfast and dinner for me, did my laundry, and even cut my hair (one of the best cuts I ever had!). I loved the food so much, I asked her for a lot of her recipes and rolled Pavlova was one of the best and most festive.
The story I was told was that the famous ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova, toured Australia and New Zealand in the early 20th century. This desert was created in her honor. Of course this is hotly debated, but it’s still a good tale.
The Pavlova in the picture sadly is not one of mine. I didn’t have time to cook this week so I found this one instead so you can at least see what a basic one would look like. Usually they have fruit (Olive suggests raspberries and mandarin oranges) and other decorations sprinkled over the top.
Olive made the Pavlova for me and I remember it to this day! I hope you enjoy it too!
3 egg whites
6 oz caster (powdered) sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch (level)
1/2 pint cream
Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees.
Whip egg whites until thickened. Add sugar to egg whites slowly. Mix vinegar and cornstarch together then mix into egg white mixture.
On a jelly roll pan put foil and grease lightly. Spread mixture evenly on pan, then cook at 275 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. You should be able to tap your fingernails on the surface of the meringue. Remove from oven and transfer to waxed paper and place on cooling rack. Wait until the meringue is cool but pliable.
Whip 1/2 pint of cream until soft peaks appear. Spread whipped cream on cooled Pavlova. Sprinkle or arrange the raspberries, kiwi, and mandarin over the meringue. Carefully roll until you are at the end, then roll onto plate, seam down.
When ready to serve, sift a little powdered sugar over the top and serve.
Enjoy this Valentine’s Day!
Come back next week for another recipe full of down-home southern comfort. 🙂