Strawberry Pavlova

Pavlova Mmmm

I think this is the ultimate Canada Day dessert with it’s red and white colour scheme and local berries at their peak! You can make individual or family size meringues and they are so portable for picnics or potlucks or camping. Put them together when you are ready to serve! Use a handy can of whipped cream if you are not at home.

This morning I was able to spend time at our local berry patch, Morrison’s Berries, http://ontariofarmfresh.com/member-pages/morrison-berries-country-market/ listening to the birds and enjoying the summer holiday while picking a basket of strawberries. I seldom pick more than 6 quarts of berries at a time. That way I have an excuse to go again and again and it does not become a chore. To make our pavlova even more of a Canadian treat we harvested our first Saskatoon berries from bushes in our gardens. They are really abundant this year and taste like a cross between a currant and a blueberry and I think they will mix in nicely with the strawberries on top!

Meringues BakedSaskatoon Berry Bush

Pavlova– Click here for pdf version of recipe

Meringue:
3 egg whites, preferably room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Custard: This recipe makes enough for 2 batches of meringue or a Strawberry C  ream Pie
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt, or less
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

Strawberries as desired, about 1 1/2 quarts washed and hulled
Sweetened whipped cream Meringue:

Whip egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form.
Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form then stir in vanilla.
Spread all of meringue in a circle on parchment*lined baking sheet using a spoon to smooth and indent the centre slightly. I have also made individual meringues using a muffin scoop. This will make about 7- 8 individual forms.
Bake at 250°F for 45 -60 minutes until dry and firm. If you are not certain if it is quite done you may shut the oven off and leave it in until it cools
Custard:

Mix sugar, corn starch and salt until corn starch is evenly distributed to prevent lumps. Whisk in milk and microwave on high for 6 – 9 minutes, stopping to stir every 3 minutes When mixture has come to a boil and started to thicken add egg yolks putting a bit of the
hot mix into the yolks first to temper them.
Return to microwave and bring back to a boil, about 2 minutes.
Remove and add butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
Place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top to keep from forming a skin and let cool.Cover baked meringue with cooled custard and berries. Top with a little sweetened whipped cream.

Anne’s Favourites Serves about 6

* You may use foil instead but lightly grease it before spreading meringue.

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Fruity Oat Muffins

Fruity Oatmeal Muffins 007

I have made dozens and dozens of muffins over the years, most of them for coffee breaks at our business, Cliff’s Plumbing & Heating. Surprisingly people have continued to eat the muffins provided without complaint even when they have been transformed into the gluten-free versions. It gives me a chance to experiment with adaptations without wasting the end product.

I have found that a number of my favourite muffin recipes translate seamlessly with a substitution of my GF all purpose flour mixture and xanthan gum at a ratio of 1 tsp to every 1 ½ – 2 cups of flour. Sometimes I add an extra egg for some of the liquid if that looks like an option in the ingredient list. The recipes that are a candidate for this substitution are the ones with fruit in them so I tried changing fruity bran to fruity oat and was quite happy with the results.

I noticed that gluten-free muffins and cookies often improve after a day or two so I thought the batter sitting before baking might be beneficial also. Whether if actually helps or not it is nice to have a muffin you can mix once and bake as needed!

 

Fruity Oat  Click here for the pdf version of the recipe

Fruity Oat Muffins
2 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice or 1 tsp cinnamon
grated rind of one orange
1 1/2 cups dried fruit – any combination of apricots, prunes, dates, etc.
2 cups GF rolled oats, quick cooking or large flake
1/2 cup orange juice *
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
Sift flour, both sugars, xanthan gum baking soda, baking powder, salt and spice.
Stir in orange rind and dried fruit mixture to coat.
Mix together rolled oats, orange juice, buttermilk, applesauce, oil and eggs.
Refrigerate overnight for flavours to blend but can be used immediately also.
Fill paper-lined muffin pans using a 1/4 cup measure or a 2 1/4 ounce scoop.
Bake at 365°F for 30 minutes.
Makes 22 muffins
*Use juice from the orange you’ve already taken the rind from and fill measure with regular juice, yogurt or buttermilk.