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Pavlova with Eggnog

Danielle Matar/The Globe and Mail

This light and crunchy meringue is our family's favourite dessert. It is stunningly beautiful and deceptively easy to make. Top with fruit or lemon curd or eggnog cream (add 2 tbsp dark rum for authentic eggnog taste). Sometimes I use candied orange peel too. Use the egg whites reserved from the Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes. The meringue can be baked ahead of time; add the whipped cream a few hours before serving.

Pavlova

4 egg whites

Pinch of salt

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp white vinegar

Eggnog cream

1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled

3 tbsp icing sugar

2 tbsp dark rum (optional)

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Garnish

Grated dark chocolate and/or grated nutmeg

Method

Preheat oven to 275 F. With a stand or hand mixer on medium-high, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gradually add in sugar, beating well the whole time. Keep beating until mixture is thick and glossy.

Beat in vinegar and cornstarch until stiff peaks form. Mixture should be thick enough that <QL>you can turn the bowl upside down.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trace a 9-inch circle in the centre of the parchment and flip parchment over. You will still be able to see the circle. Secure parchment to cookie sheet with a dab of pavlova mixture in each corner. Spread mixture into circle shape on parchment.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off and leave pavlova inside for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and slide pavlova onto a serving plate.

Whip cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in rum (if using), vanilla, ginger and nutmeg. Cover top of pavlova with eggnog cream. Grate chocolate and/or nutmeg all over.

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