The middle of the summer

Sunday, August 2, 2015
It's the middle of the summer, and the girls are at home for a long weekend. Like last year, they're working as staff at the camp they've each attended since they were eight, which means they're home only three times from mid-June to the end of August. And those days off pass very quickly. They have sleep to catch up on (both slept in the car on the way home), places to go and friends to see. This weekend was particularly busy: my older daughter interviewed for a part-time school-year job, and my younger daughter played DJ on radio station CIUT with Andrew, as the fulfilment of a Christmas gift!

Luckily, there's still time for family. I celebrated their homecoming with meringues served with fresh peaches and berries that I picked up at the market earlier that day. I can't imagine a more perfect beginning of August dessert than pavlova served with whipped cream and fruit. Because for me, fresh fruit is the second best thing about the middle of summer.

Peach, Raspberry and Amaretto Pavlovas
(adapted slightly from Chatelaine magazine)

For the meringues:

4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
2 Tbsp icing sugar
3 Tbsp amaretto
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 (or more) ripe peaches, cut into thin wedges
170 gram container raspberries


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high, until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Beat in cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla until combined. Spoon meringue onto prepared sheet in 6 large dollops, dividing evenly. Using the back of a spoon, spread meringue into 4 1/2" circles and indent the middles while pushing up the edges so they resemble nests. (Note: these meringues are pretty big, and you could easily get 8 nests.)

Bake until tops are crisp and dry but still white, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let them dry in oven for 1 more hour. Leave meringues on baking sheet until completely cool.

Beat cream with icing sugar in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Set aside.

Stir amaretto with brown sugar in a medium bowl until sugar has dissolved. Gently stir in peach wedges and raspberries until just coated. 

To assemble, spoon whipped cream onto meringues. Top with peaches and raspberries. Drizzle with remaining juices.

On air at CIUT!


Gloria Baker said...

This look delicious!
Lovely pic of your daugther:)

lisa is cooking said...

Peaches with pavlova sounds divine! Hope you're having a wonderful summer.

Velva said...

I know it is a special time when the girls are home-Enjoy!!!
Your fruit pavlovas look very cool and refreshing. perfect for these dog days of summer.


Julie said...

What a fun weekend! Great experience on the radio, how fun is that?!! Your berries look delicious.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Beth, so nice your are having a great time with your girls, they both sound very busy. What a nice dessert you made to celebrate the occasion. Looks delicious!

Angie's Recipes said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend with the family and those mini pavlovas look divine with sweet juicy peaches.

Amy said...

These are such a lovely summer treat!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved the picture of your husband and daughter. Glad both your daughters were home. And sounds like a yummy dessert.

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful dessert! Being on the radio sounds like so much fun! I'd love to do that once.

Jemi Fraser said...

Enjoy the family time!
Love meringues and fruit together too :)

Monica said...

Enjoy the time with your girls. This is a gorgeous as well as delicious dessert to welcome them for sure! I bet these were polished off quickly. : )

Katerina said...

Great family moments and a great light dessert Beth!

Joanne said...

Aww I'm sure you were glad to have the girls home again! These pavlovas sound like the perfect welcome home treat!

Marcela said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend with the family!!

I love these mini pavlovas! They look insanely delicious!

Unknown said...

I love how summery these are, lovely combination of flavours.

Tricia Buice said...

What a nice homecoming! My husband spent years on the radio - how cool your daughter got to give it a go! Love fresh fruits and berries - just can't get enough.

grace said...

what fun! i've actually never made a meringue except as cookies or to put on pie, but these look so lovely and elegant!

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Merigues are one of my favorites desserts, and with those berries and peaches? Seriously perfect. This is literally my idea of a perfect summertime dessert!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Love meringues! They used to be my mom's "company" dessert -- always loaded with whatever fruit was fresh. Great picture of your daughter!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I'm sure the girls enjoyed there welcome home dessert, it looks great.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I love to make a special dessert when all 3 kids are home for dinner. The whole family would love your fruit topped meringues---beautiful and irresistible!!

Cathleen said...

What a great way to celebrate their homecoming! Love the look of these meringues

Cakelaw said...

Yum! Your girls are lucky to have such yummy treats waiting for them when they come home.

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