April 3, 2020

Mini Pavlovas with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Post by Debra Murray

Mini Pavlovas with Vanilla Pastry Cream These tender clouds of goodness are delicious and beautiful.

Mini Pavlovas with Vanilla Pastry Cream would make a fantastic Easter dessert. Mini Pavlovas are gluten free!

Pavlovas are inexpensive to make; Mini Pavlovas are mostly egg whites and sugar. In this recipe for Mini Pavlovas, I use Vanilla Pastry Cream as filling. Traditional Pavlovas have whipped cream and fruit. I plan on making some Mini Pavlovas for my father’s birthday using lemon curd for the filling. To make this easier for a big party, you could easily substitute instant pudding and/or cool whip.Mini Pavlova Shells

For as far back as I can remember, I have had a love affair with food. I loved cooking food, reading about food, looking at food pictures, and of course, eating food! When most kids were reading Teen Beat Magazines, I was reading cookbooks or buying magazines with beautiful food pictures. I have been very fortunate to have a career as a food stylist/cooking demonstrator I get to spend my time just making lovely food.
Mini Pavlovas with Vanilla Pastry Cream

On a recent trip to Paris while walking back from Sacre’-Coeur (a breathtaking old church with the best view of the city), we saw this gorgeous patisserie called “Meringues”. Meringue’s had beautiful Pavlovas all types in their windows. My daughter and I bought a few different types; they were probably the best sweet thing I had ever eaten.
Meringues Patisserie in Paris

Since the Stay-at-Home ordinance from the COVID-19, I have been doing my online college studies, deep cleaning things that so needed cleaning just to keep from going nuts. The other thing I have been doing is cooking something I have always wanted to cook. Here is my Mini Pavlovas with Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe, I hope you enjoy! We did! There will be a link at the bottom of the blog for items I used in this recipe. Please stay safe and Happy Cooking!

Mini Pavlovas with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Makes 25 – 3 inches
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (I run my sugar through the food processor to make extra fine)
1 teaspoon butter/vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks, reserve the yolks for the pastry cream. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl free from any grease residue whatsoever. Using a hand or stand mixer begin mixing the egg whites till frothy. Increase the speed of the mixer to high and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing till stiff peaks are achieved, approximately 7-8 minutes with my stand mixer. The egg whites should stand stiff without being grainy.
Whisk the corn starch into the extract and lemon juice. Using a whisk, fold this into the stiff meringues.
Draw 3-inch circles on the bottom of your parchment paper to use as guides.
Put meringue into pastry bag and pipe onto parchment.
Place in the center rack in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
½ vanilla bean split lengthwise
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup of sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out its seeds and place all in a medium saucepan of the milk.
Heat the milk on medium until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and let rest for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and the sugar until the yolks become a pale yellow color.
Whisk in the cornstarch making sure there are no lumps.
Add ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture and mix well.
Slowly drizzle in the remaining hot milk.
Using a sieve, strain this mixture back into the saucepan.
Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and whisking continuously until thickened and slowly boiling.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter.
Let the custard cool for 10 minutes then pour into a blow.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and make sure the wrap is touching the surface of the custard.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Place a medium mixing bowl into the freezer with the whisk, let it chill for 10 minutes.
Add the cream to the bowl and begin whisking, slowly add in the sugar and whisk till cream reaches stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla and chill till ready to serve.

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