It has been very humid here, not good conditions for baking Pavlovas. Last week I made an Australian meal for the little campers at school. Besides Lazy Lamingtons, I made these Mini Pavlovas, a Down Under treat fought over between Australia and New Zealand. Well I really don’t care who owns the recipe, all I know is that it is a delicious classic paying tribute to the Hungarian ballerina, Anna Pavlova.
The base of a Pavlova is a meringue shell usually filled with a cream or custard, topped with fruit and more cream. So light and wonderful if you have ever had one. Again I was cooking for youngsters and did want a quick way for them to experience a Pavlova without having to kill myself in making one. Here enters Trader Joe’s super Mini Vanilla Meringues which were just too cute to pass up. The minis topped off with some whipped cream and raspberry syrup were perfect for tiny taste buds.
For the campers, I made their Mini Pavlovas in 2 ounce portion cups so that they also had room for a Lazy Lamington. Aren’t the mini spoons too cute?
One container Mini Vanilla Meringues
whipped cream- I suggest homemade*
one 12 ounce bag frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 T. cornstarch
In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, cook raspberries with sugar until macerated. Push through a wire strainer to remove seeds, reserving juice. Pour juice back into saucepan and stir in cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until sauce is shiny and thickened. Pour into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.
Just before serving, assemble the Mini Pavlovas as the meringues tend to break down once touched by liquids. In the bottom of a small cup or glass, place 12 mini meringues, top with a spoonful of whipped cream and a drizzle of raspberry syrup. Serve immediately. The container of meringues will make about 50 mini portions.
*Note- I used whipped cream from the can in order to move quickly. That type of cream does break down more quickly than regular homemade whipped cream which I would use next time, although the children did not notice or care. You can imagine the possibilities- various puddings, custards, fresh fruits, yogurt, parfaits. You can get very creative. These are delicious and dainty, perfect for a brunch or tea.
The rest of the Down Under Meal
Chicken ‘n Beef Kebabs on the Barbie- I threaded 50 skewers with chicken nuggets, pineapple, and red pepper and another 50 with Costco meatballs, pineapple, and peppers. I served these over rice with a sweet and sour pineapple sauce like this one. I was supposed to do marinated and grilled kebabs but I do not have a grill big enough to accommodate that many skewers so I had to improvise. These were all put in huge roasting pans and heated in the oven and kept hot in my cooler until ready to serve. (I would have liked to call these ostrich and koala kebabs but I thought that would freak the kids out.)
Damper Bread is another Aussie favorite but I used frozen biscuits in its stead. I had to remember to keep things easy when cooking for little ones. They love biscuits.
Billy Tea is essentially a big pot of tea made over the campfire. I simply poured iced tea into a big pot and ladled it out for the campers.