I was feeling reflective this past weekend. Perhaps it’s the start of the new school year, or my approaching birthday, or just the song in the background.
Whatever the reason I was reflecting on the kids. When you have children, you know it’s your job to teach them – right from wrong, common sense, values, etc., but the one thing I don’t think they tell soon-to-be or new parents is how much your children teach you. It is amazing how much my children have transformed me, how much better they have made me and how much more I appreciate everything about my life. Children shift priorities and they show you the world through different lenses.
From the time Mr. N and Miss A were born they have each had a definite and distinct presence. Mr. N, well, he’s my old, sage soul. His ability to ask big questions, to see the world beyond his own and to have such a confidence in his place – well, it’s simply beyond his years. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still an eight-year old boy who whines, fights with his sister, gets lost in his video games and forgets to put on at least one article of clothing every morning, but deep inside lies this wonderfully empathetic soul that ponders deep questions, understands complicated concepts and loves beyond measure.
As for Miss A, well, her teacher hit the nail on the head when she put Miss A’s spirit into words, she’s a sprite. She’s tiny, magical, spirited and floats on air. As my dad often observes, Miss A never walks. She runs, she skips, she flips, she hops, she dances and she rolls; and usually all while singing. She’s a keen observer of others and her soul is bright, light and airy. She fills the room with ease, often bringing people a sense of exactly what they need through her magical little soul. That said, like her brother, she is still a small child that is often demanding, throws food under the table, occasionally bites her brother and hides her toys under furniture instead of actually putting them away. But Miss A’s bright light is inescapable, she’ll make you smile, fill your heart with laughter and love, and she’ll bring you peace…all while dancing.
So where am I going with all of this? I do have a point. You see this next recipe is also named for another “tiny dancer.” In fact, another “Miss A” if you will – the famous Russian ballet dancer from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Anna Pavlova. This next dessert, recommended by our Australian blogger friend Charlie from Hotly Spiced, is said to have been named in her honor when she was on world tour in Australia and New Zealand. The Pavlova – it all seemed perfectly fitting. Thank you Charlie! (It’s so fun to actually “know” people around the world to ask for recipes on these adventures! I never could have imagined it.)
After Mr. N traced a few circles onto the parchment for us, we began the recipe by whipping egg whites. Once they formed soft peaks, Mr. N added the sugar a spoonful at a time until stiff, shiny peaks formed.
We also beat in some vanilla extract, and then folded in cornstarch and white vinegar. Next we spooned the meringue onto the parchment, using the circles Mr. N traced as our guides. We took Charlie’s wonderful suggestion of making individual Pavlova, so we had six (or 12) servings, depending on how hungry you might be!
So while the Pavlova was baking and cooling, we prepared our topping. Charlie shared a beautiful recipe from Jill Dupleix for Pavlova with Passionfruit Curd from her “Old Food” Cookbook. While the passionfruit curd sounded phenomenal, passionfruit can be hard for us to find, but no worries. The word “curd” sparked a new idea. I could finally make use of Charles’ inspiring recipe for Lemon Curd! Seriously, you know how obsessed I can be about lemon – his recipe has not been far from the forefront of my mind since he printed it…in March!
For the last step of this delightfully simple, yet elegant dessert, we mixed some whipped cream with the lemon curd and spread it over the Pavlova. We then topped ours with a mixture of strawberries, blackberries and kiwi.
Here are a few more recipes to consider if you are so inspired:
Celi’s Mama’s Pavlova
Or for a fun chocolate twist, check out:
Barb’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
And last but not least, for another wonderful Australian dessert, check-out our ANZAC biscuits (which we made while on our New Zealand adventure), or for our other Aussie friend’s version, check out Aimee’s Mum’s ANZAC biscuits.
Print this recipe: Pavlova