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Recipe: Australian Fresh Fruit Pavlova

Inspired by the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this exquisite dessert has long been claimed by Australians as their own invention. According to some, it was created by an Australian chef to resemble the lightness of the ballerina herself. Regardless of how it originated, this sweet Australian icon is one of the most famed Down Under desserts.

Ingredients
4 egg whites
4 drops lemon juice
½ teaspoon granulated sugar, plus ½ cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons white chocolate couverture, tempered
About 1 cup Chantilly cream: 13 tablespoons (6 ½ ounces) heavy cream whipped with 4 ½ teaspoons sugar

Garnish
1/3 cup ripe mangos, thinly sliced
1/4 cup ripe kiwi, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 cup strawberries, quartered
1/8 cup fresh raspberries, halved
1/8 cup fresh blackberries, halved
1/4 cup apricot glaze
3/4 cup passion fruit (pulp only for decoration)
Powdered sugar, as needed

Directions
Preheat the oven to 220°F.

Draw a circle, about 3-inches in diameter, on a sheet of parchment paper and place on a baking pan. In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with the lemon juice until the mixture has increased 3 to 4 times in volume. Stir in the ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar into the cornstarch and set aside. Gradually incorporate the remainder of the sugar into the egg whites while whipping – continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Lower the mixer speed and add the cornstarch mixture and the vinegar.

Place a portion of the meringue in a pastry bag with a no. 8 plain tip. Pipe the meringue following the inside perimeter of each of the drawn circles. Spoon the remaining meringue within the piped rings and spread it out evenly. Use the back of a wet spoon to create a well in each meringue mound so that the sides are a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hour or until the meringues are dry, their centers aren’t sticky and they are easily lifted from the parchment paper with their bases intact.

Brush white chocolate inside the center of the Pavlova. Then pipe the Chantilly cream inside the center. Arrange the fruit and berries on top of the cream. Glaze the fruit and berries with the apricot glaze, then sprinkle the passion fruit pulp over the Pavlova and around the dessert. Sift powdered sugar lightly over the top and serve.

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