Wandering Whisk Bakeshop owner Jennifer Jacobs is known for her decadent and colorful buttercream cakes, French macarons, cream puffs and cookie sandwiches. But did you know that the self-taught cake designer and pastry pro also makes a mean pavlova?
“Florida summers are hot, so I’m always looking for a light and refreshing dessert to serve when I’m entertaining,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs came up with this recipe while working at her bakery in Pinellas Park, where she regularly hosts popup events and works on custom orders. These miniature pineapple curd-filled pavlovas, a meringue-based dessert with a crunchy exterior and soft and airy interior, are flavored with coconut and naturally gluten-free.
“Pavlovas look challenging but are actually quite simple to prepare,” Jacobs said. “They will definitely make a statement on your table.”
Mini Piña Colada Pavlovas
Makes approximately one dozen.
For the pavlovas:
4 egg whites, at room temperature (save the egg yolks for curd)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until foamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar, one spoonful at a time. Continue to beat until the meringue reaches stiff peaks, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in coconut extract, cornstarch and lemon juice. Take care not to deflate the meringue.
Using an ice cream or cookie scoop, scoop out the meringue into 12 equal dollops onto a baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon to create a little nest in the middle. (This will hold the curd in place.)
Bake at 250 degrees for approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in there for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
For the pineapple curd:
4 egg yolks
¼ cup pineapple juice
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Toasted coconut, for garnish
Pineapple slices, for garnish
Combine egg yolks, pineapple juice and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Cover the curd with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
To assemble the pavlovas, top each one with a hearty scoop of curd. Add toasted coconut and a slice of pineapple. Feel free to add fresh berries or any other fruit desired.