Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Taste of Ireland: Berry and Baileys Pavlova


While everyone is Irish on St Patricks, we don't necessarily embrace the cuisine of the emerald isle in the most elegant of ways on this festive holiday. In fact, March 17th brings a flurry of fun recipes doused with vivid green food coloring, formed into cheeky shamrock shapes or featuring lucky rainbows. For a change, this year I thought I'd shelve the green dye in favor of a subtler confection featuring flavors indigenous to this wonderful country.
   
Until recently, I had no idea that the surprisingly simple pavlova (after all it was named for the famed Russian ballerina) is such a wildly popular dessert in Ireland. 
A quick online search yielded countless recipes and interpretations of this meringue based delight featuring fruit and cream fillings, including those with a dash of Irish liqueurs. Although more often enjoyed in summer, it is fast becoming a fitting dessert in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
  
Berry & Bailey's Pavlova
This recipe makes a modest sized pavlova serving about 4-5 but can be doubled and as it is very rich, small servings usually suffice. 
 I started with the basic meringue recipe I used in my New Years post, subbing vanilla for the orange flavor and making three large meringues as layers. 
Some Pavlova recipes call for small amounts of flour but the version below does not so it makes a lovely gluten-free option for guests with food sensitivities.
Meringue
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Filling and garnish
Heavy cream
Irish Cream liqueur to taste (I used baileys)
2-3 cups assorted Berries
Mint leaves
Sugar (I used superfine)
Agave nectar or honey

Preheat oven to 225
Beat egg whites until foamy. 
Sprinkle with salt and cream of tartar, continuing to beat until soft peaks form.
Add sugar and vanilla slowly while beating on high until stiff peaks form
This recipe made three 6 inch circles of meringue. I used an icing tip to draw circles and filled rest in with spoon. If desired a template can be placed under parchment and meringue traced for more perfect shapes. Bake 90 minutes on parchment lined cookie trays. Then let sit in oven (turned off) for 30 minutes with door ajar. Once cool carefully peel from paper.
Weeks of heavy snow meant limited produce at my supermarket so I opted for frozen mixed berries which I sprinkled with some sugar and let thaw. For filling simply whip 1 cup of cream with 1 teaspoon sugar and two teaspoons liqueur or more or less to taste.
Place meringue on serving plate, spread with whipped cream, top with berries and then more whipped cream. Repeat with next two meringues, making as level as possible.
For garnishes, I covered some berries and mint leaves with agave (I'm leery of using raw egg whites some recipes call for) and then sprinkled with sugar for a frosted look.
Any way you slice it, pavlovas are messy once cut into. I used extra whipped cream and mint leaves to try to prettify the dessert plates, drizzling some berry juice as an accent.
Serve with strong coffee or fragrant black tea.


For decor,
 I opted more for a deep green offset with neutrals, whites and cream tones.
 
In honor of the flocks of sheep which dot the Irish landscape, I added some (plastic) wooly friends in a terrarium to the tabletop.
 Since I already use these sheep in Christmas and Spring decor, and I'm a big fan of repurposing, for St. Patrick's, I simply added a printout of a photo I took from a trip to Ireland a few years ago as a background. Some greens and moss rocks from the dollar store complete the mini landscape.
Mist over Kylemore Abbey photo by C.Paul

White roses are an unexpected shift from the usual greenery.
 Ok, A disclaimer: the roses are repurposed from Valentine's (and somehow survived) 
Happily my "good" dishes feature a green accented rim.
 Keepsakes from travels add to the theme.
Yards of oatmeal colored burlap from the craft store serve as a tablecloth

For more Irish inspired ideas, please visit my post 
The Emerald Isle
Ireland in a Jar terrariums, Guiness Truffles, Paper Jewelry



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29 comments:

  1. Hi Christine, what a fabulous dessert. I love this idea and recipe. Your china is also beautiful and the pictures are breath taking. Thanks for visiting....

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    1. Thanks so much- I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!
      We bought the china years ago and I was worried it was too busy but actually use it a lot- mixing and matching- :)
      Cheers

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  2. As those family members with a brogue would say around a mouth full of fruit and custard and cream, "This is lovely. This is brilliant." How perfect this would be for a 'Quiet Man' Irish Tea. Fabulous post as always. If I stop muddling about and get to it I'll make sure I feature this post.

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    1. Thanks so much Susan - you're too funny!- I admit I still haven't seen the Quiet Man (add to netflix) but when we were in Ireland we drove through areas where it was filmed :)

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  3. A wonderful post! Your tea cup is lovely, and very stately! The dessert looks amazing, and it was such a great idea to forgo the "green food coloring" dessert! lol! You have challenged us all to do better! Yay! It really does look delicious! Your terrarium is gorgeous! I love that you were inspired to put in your photo! That is even better!
    Hugs,
    Terri

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Terri!
      Sometimes I tend to "overdo" holidays so I thought I'd go for something a bit more subtle
      -at least this year :)
      Cheers!

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  4. I enjoyed this post so much. I am married to an Irishman. That dessert looks scrumptious! Maybe sometime I will "attempt" it. We always celebrate St. Pat's Day. BUT my husband draws the line at spoiling his been by adding green food coloring.. LOL

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    1. Thanks Beth!
      I agree with your husband although I admit I'm very guilty of using green food coloring in the past LOL! The dessert is surprisingly easy if you ever give it a try
      Happy (early) St Patrick's and thanks so much for visiting :)

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  5. What a wonderful teacup and china. Your Pavlova looks scrumptious! I am married to an Irishman, well, half Irish! And he's proud of it too. I adore your little sheep in the terrarium. How darling is that! The photo in the background really brings it to life. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing and joining me for tea.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Thanks Sandi!
      This was fun to put together- I admit the sheep live there from Christmas through Easter so I figured they work for St Patricks lol-
      Thanks for hosting Tea Time Tuesdays - I always find the most wonderful ideas there!

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  6. You had me at Bailey's! Lol! I love it! I would not have thought of combining it with berries. And I just love your Irish sheep terrarium. So cute! Your dishes are perfect! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!
    Ruth

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    1. Thanks Ruth!
      I wasn't sure about the Baileys-berry combo either but I figured you can't go wrong with Bailey's.
      So glad you enjoyed the post and of course for hosting Tuesday Cuppa Tea- it's my mini Tuesday escape :)

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  7. Hi: I love decorating with lambs. Yours are so very cute. The dessert looks so good. Love the green tea cup. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

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    1. Thanks Martha!
      I love lambs too and I've found I've used them so often - for Christmas, Spring - Easter and now St. Patrick's lol-
      So glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for hosting your lovely parties!

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  8. Oh, my! I love Baileys and your Pavlova looks delicious. Great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Love the sheep and your green china is lovely. Happy Tea Day!

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    1. Thanks so much!
      i thought I'd try something a little different this year :)

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  9. I feel as though I stepped into the Irish Isle - lovely posting here. I love your Pavlova but I have never made one although I do have a file with recipes and also an Irish cooking file. I have made some scones, soups, etc but need to make a Pavlova. I am so glad you shared your recipe too! I am printing it out!

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    1. Thanks so much Bernideen- I'm delighted you enjoyed the post!
      The pavlova really is quite easy- this was my first try -(although I used the basic meringue recipe often). I would love to be able to make scones- My mom and aunt and I are big tea fans and we're still searching for the perfect scone recipe :)

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  10. Oh wow your Pavlova is beautiful, I really want to try my hand at making it! Mmmm Are you still selling your art cards? Do you paint them yourself? If you do I would love to purchase one and show it off on my blog! Let me know! I am totally in love with that little bird with the crown!

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    1. Thanks so much Heather!
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the post- the pavlova is really easy!
      Yes, I do still paint art cards but have been caught up with some projects am sold out right now- I'm working on several Spring themed ones and am very into animals with crowns for some reason lol- I should have more up soon. I'd love to have one on your blog- we could do a trade :) I'll let you know when I have some done- I do have some mini paintings in my Etsy shop too.
      Cheers!

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    2. That sounds excellent, I sent you a message through your contact form.

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  11. What a lovely dessert! Love your beautiful china too, thanks for your lovely comment..

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    1. Thanks so much! Happy (almost) St. Patrick's

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  12. Beautiful dessert and setting. I've never heard of a pavlova, but it looks divine. Thank you for linking up with Inspired Sunday!

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    1. Thanks so much Laura! This was my fist pavlova - lots of fun to make :)

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  13. What a fun post! The recipe looks wonderful and delicious. Happy March :)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and Happy March to you too :)

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  14. Hi Dear,
    so wonderful, seems to be more than delicious! Love the little sheeps! So sweet!
    Have a wonderful spring and all the best from Austria
    Elisabeth

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    1. Thank you so much!
      I'm so happy you enjoyed the post! How lucky to live in Austria- I would love to go there someday- we did go to Bolzano Italy recently which is close by :)
      Cheers!

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Love to hear your comments and suggestions!