Greet your Christmas guests with a stunning holiday door wreath, then wow them at the table with this delectable, edible Pavlova wreath adorned with sugared cranberries.
Never made — or even heard of — a Pavlova? Let this be the year you bring a surprise to your Christmas dessert offerings!
Wildly popular in Australia and New Zealand, Pavlova is a lovely meringue-like cake with a crisp crust and soft interior that is traditionally topped with whipped cream and fruit.
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Though these two countries have a long-standing debate about the origin of the dessert, they both agree that it was named after the beloved Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.
The key to success in making a perfect Pavlova is beating the egg whites until they reach their maximum volume.
The Pavlova is naturally gluten-free, allowing your wheat-conscious guests to enjoy a gorgeous GF Christmas treat.
Yield: 2 cups
2 cups granulated sugar, plus ¾ cup for rolling cranberries in
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups sugar and water to a simmer. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
Remove pan from heat and set aside, allowing the mixture to cool for 15 minutes.
Stir in cranberries. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Strain cranberries. (Be sure to reserve the extra syrup to use for another recipe such as our a cranberry cocktails.)
Spread ¾ cup sugar on a parchment-lined, small baking sheet. Toss cranberries in a few at a time, and gently shake and jiggle to completely coat cranberries.
Transfer sugared cranberries to a clean baking sheet and allow to set for about 1–2 hours, or until dry.
To store, transfer to airtight container and refrigerate.
Pavlova Christmas Wreath with Sugared Cranberries
Makes: 16 servings
8 large egg whites, room temperature
2½ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Garnish with sugared cranberries and fresh citrus leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a large baking sheet (at least 13 x 18 inches) with parchment paper.
In a food processor, place the sugar and grind until fine. Pour sugar into a medium bowl.
Sift cornstarch through a sifter and place in small bowl.
In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until stiff.
Continue to beat, gradually adding in sugar. Beat until dissolved.
Add lemon juice and vanilla bean paste.
Slowly add cornstarch. Beat on high until mixture is stiff and glossy peaks form, about 3–5 minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, gently shape meringue into a ring on top of the baking sheet.
Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.
Bake meringue for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven until totally cooled (about 4 hours).
Before decorating, gently transfer the meringue to a platter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
Gently spread whipped cream evenly over top of meringue wreath, or using a frosting bag with a wide tip, pipe whipped cream as desired on top of meringue.
Decorate the top with sugared cranberries and fresh citrus leaves.
Note: The Pavlova can be made ahead a few days and stored in an airtight container or wrapped gently (but completely) with plastic wrap. Add the whipped cream and fruit right before serving, as the moisture from both (as well as weight) will begin to break down the Pavlova.
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This article originally appeared on Grateful: A Pavlova wreath with sugared cranberries for Christmas