YIELD: 6 servings
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 16 oz. fresh or frozen sweet dark cherries, pitted
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 large orange
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon orange bloom water (or substitute 1 teaspoon of orange zest)
- Dark chocolate, finely chopped
- pistachios, chopped
- Zest from the orange
Meringue: NOTE: The meringues take 4-6 hours to make, but can be made ahead of time and stored in the oven overnight for best results.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees fahrenheit.
- Combine the sugar and cornstarch and set aside.
- Beat the egg whites, lemon juice and salt on low speed until frothy, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and gradually add the sugar mixture while beating until you have stiff and glossy peaks, scrap down the bowl at least once during the process.
- Drizzle half of the melted chocolate over the meringue in the mixing bowl, do not mix in, it will swirl as you scoop. Carefully scoop out 6 mounds of meringue and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzling the remaining melted chocolate over the meringue as you get to the bottom of the bowl. With a large spoon make a well in the center of each mound.
- Bake the meringues for 2 1/2 hours, until they are crispy and dried out. If they begin to brown, turn the oven down a few degrees. When the meringues are done, turn the oven off and let them cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or overnight (best for humid climates).
- Zest the orange and set it aside for garnishing, then juice the orange. You should get about 1/4 cup of juice.
- Combine the cherries, honey, and orange juice in a medium sauce pan and simmer over medium low heat until the cherries begin to soften and release their juices, about 10-15 minutes. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of the cherry juice from the pan and mix it with the corn starch, making sure it is thoroughly dissolved. Add the corn starch mixture back to the pan and simmer until the mixture thickens, another 3-5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat. Let cool or refrigerator until needed.
- Just before serving, add the heavy cream, sugar and orange blossom water to a mixing bowl and beat until you have firm but pillowy peaks.
Assemble the Pavlovas:
- Fill the center of each meringue with whipped cream, top with cherries, garnish with shaved chocolate, chopped pistachios and orange zest. Serve immediately.
For a lower fat version, replace the whipped cream with vanilla Greek yogurt.