Posts Tagged 'light'

FALSE ADVERTISING: Blueberry Lemon Almond Pavzilla

pavlova 7

Pavlova. Pavlooooooova. Named for Anna Pavlova, the famed Russian ballet dancer, after her tour to New Zealand in the 1920s. I learned this from Wikipedia.

The world’s largest pavlova, named ‘Pavkong,’ was made by some New Zealand students in 2005. Prior to this, the record for the largest pavlova was held by New Zealand’s national museum. It was named ‘Pavzilla.’

pavlova 1

I didn’t go for the world record of largest pavlova (the most original names had already been taken), but I did create a mini version in addition to a regular-sized one to show you the technique of filling the meringue. And by “technique,” I mean “plopping some instant pudding and blueberries on top of a cookie.”

Sounds simple (it is), but the end result is a beautifully rustic dessert, that ends ups being really light. The fillings and flavors are endless. If you wanted something lighter, you could go with whipped cream and fresh fruit as a filling, which is a bit more classic.

pavlova 2

pavlova 3

This dessert is a celebration of eggs, clearly. They are the main ingredient, and with that yellow pudding thrown on top, it looks just like a deviled egg. Luckily, it doesn’t taste like a deviled egg. I mean, deviled eggs are scrumptious, don’t get me wrong; it’s just that if you tell someone, “Hey, try this blueberry lemon almond pavlova,” they will probably be expecting a flavor profile somewhere on the sweeter side of things. You don’t want to be accused of false advertising now, do you?

pavlova 5

pavlova 4

I thought blueberry and almond would be a nice complement to the lemon pudding, so I tried my hand at making a blueberry sauce. The sauce is akin to the blueberry syrup stuff you get at Perkins, uber-sweet, but alright for its function as pancake-dresser. I’ll go with fresh blueberries next time to balance the sweetness.

pavlova 8

pavlova 6

Makin’ records,


Blueberry Lemon Almond Pavlova

An LH original

For the pavlova:

6 egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups white sugar or caster sugar

pinch cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cornstarch

scant 1/4 teaspoon almond oil or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, to taste

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment, and draw a circle about a foot in diameter on the parchment.

Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, then gradually add the sugar. GRADUALLY. Let the mixture beat for 30 seconds to a minute after each tablespoon. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in the cornstarch and salt, then fold in the almond oil.

Mound the meringue in the middle of the baking sheet, keeping inside the drawn circle. Smooth it out however you want; the meringue won’t spread out or change shape.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, checking at 1 hour. The pavlova is done when it moves easily on the baking sheet. (Mine didn’t exactly), but I took it out anyway. It was fine. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Transfer to a serving plate.

For the lemon pudding:

Dig a box of off-brand instant lemon pudding out of your cupboard. Follow package directions and refrigerate. You’ll need 2 cups of milk.

For the blueberry sauce:

2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon almond extract, to taste

Bring the blueberries, water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch with a couple tablespoons of water. Add the cornstarch to the blueberries and  cook until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Let cool, then refrigerate.

For the candied almond garnish:

Chuck 2 ounces sliced almonds, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small frying pan. Boil until the water is gone and the almonds look shiny. Transfer to a sheet of waxed paper or parchment, breaking up the pieces. Let cool.

Note: I didn’t like this method; the almonds were chewy instead of crunchy. Try something else. Just Google it. There are way better ways to candy almonds.

To assemble the pavlova:

Move the pavlova from the baking sheet to a serving platter. Top first with the lemon pudding, then with the blueberry sauce, letting the sauce run down the sides of the pavlova. Garnish with candied almonds. To serve, dig in. There is no clean way to do this.

Favorite Shots: Oh Stella

Pritty picture. Pretty perfect pizza pairing. Oh Stella.


Pipe Dream #131: To Be Saturated In Bipolar

Well, this was clearly one of the best evenings of my life. Never mind that I was with two of my best friends listening to an outdoor orchestra–this lake was legit, mayn. Look at how rich the colors are!

There were even duckies in attendance. Cute ones, rather tame from the multitude of fries that have been flicked at them from the lakeside concession stand. Incidentally, the concession food is all locally sourced and zero-waste (wait, what?), which is probably why all the duckies look so healthy.

This beautiful old tram line was just 50 yards from the lake. It felt like something out of a mid-century film, and I couldn’t resist editing it as such. Pipe dream fulfilled. I was totally bipolar in the way I edited these shots. Same evening, same lighting, totally different feelings evoked. And we know that a shot without any evocation (is that a word?) is void, yeah? Yeah.

It apparently produced a shift in the way things should be colored, however. Both sets have depth to them, with or without color, I think. Cool.

Bye now,


Favorite Shots: Candied Sunrise

Meeting the sunrise makes for a good day. Happy Friday!


Pipe Dream #16: To Love My Neighbor, Revisited – Rhubarb Meringue Tart

We-he-ell, if that ain’t the nicest, smoothest, most grain-free meringue you ever did see. (Lauren 3 Meringues 2). Seriously, this is the nicest meringue I have ever made. It’s appropriate that the first recipe I made out of the Great British Bake Off cookbook should turn out so well. It works on paper (like Communism) and in my stomach (unlike Communism).

Before I continue, I am just going to tell you a little life story. Upon my return from England, I found two new items in my parents’ kitchen that have brought me endless delight and have contributed enormously to the ease of my kitchen life. One is the $7 bottle of truffle oil that my mum bought, unaware of the deep appreciation for truffles that I acquired in Europe. The other is this little scale she bought, unaware that I would need to measure out dozens of different recipe ingredients from English recipes. It makes nearly every aspect of my life more exact and digitized. The lesson learned here is this: Keep doing things. Maybe you will bring someone endless delight sometime.

We had a little neighborhood barbeque, and I had some strawberry rhubarb compote to use up, so I decided to take a stab at shortcrust pastry. Luckily, this one gave me no trouble and was surprisingly short to prepare. One of my neighbors is gluten intolerant, so I made her a little mini dish full of the strawberry rhubarb filling and meringue so she could partake of the awesome.

The meringue calls for golden sugar (I think I used white instead), which potentially would make the meringue brown up a little more golden than mine did. I left if in the oven a titch too long. Don’t be like me.

And now for a bit of wisdom I picked up this year: Always cut huge pieces/put out extra cookies for males. That way, they don’t have to feel guilty about taking seconds, which they almost always desire. Just another way to love your neighbor. We could even take this a step further and say “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but I don’t want to be accused of advising the blogging community give themselves extra dessert.

On the other hand, of course I do. And besides, this is meringue we’re talking about. Go ahead and slice it up big, friends.




Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Tart

Adapted from The Great British Bake Off

For the tart crust:
400g/14oz plain flour
250g/9oz cold butter, cut into cubes
100g/3½oz icing sugar
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
2kg/4lb 8oz rhubarb (I used half rhubarb, half strawberries)
225g/8oz caster sugar
2 oranges, zest only
For the meringue:
8 free-range eggs whites
400g/14oz golden caster sugar
4 tsp cornflour

1. Grease a 30cm/12in loose-bottomed tart tin.
2. To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and ground ginger, mix thoroughly then add the beaten eggs and just enough cold water to form a dough.
3. Turn the dough onto a floured board, knead gently into a smooth ball then roll the pastry out and use it to line the tart tin. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Preheat the oven to to 150C/300F/Gas
2. Cut the rhubarb into 5cm/2in lengths and place in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and orange zest then cook, uncovered, in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the rhubarb is just tender but still holding its shape. Increase oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
5. Add baking beans to the tart case and bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and the beans and return the tin to the oven for about eight minutes or until pale golden-brown. Remove the tin from the oven and increase the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 .
6. For the meringue, place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Gradually add half the sugar, whisking all the time, then fold in the cornflour and remaining sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
7. To assemble the pie, fill the tart case with the rhubarb, standing the pieces on end. Pile most of the meringue on top of the pie, keeping enough back to then pipe pointy peaks over the surface. Bake in the less than 30 mins preparation time 1 to 2 hours cooking time

Pipe Up! On Your Favorite Thing In This Wide World

If I ever tell you that I love you more than sparklers, you will know that you are loved a lot. Like Top 10 loved. And something else will probably be less loved, because sparklers are not being bumped out of the Top 10 Things I Love anytime soon.

Ok that’s pretty dramatic; I don’t actually have a list of Top 10 things I love, but I do adore those bursting fire balls that don’t hurt you when you stare into their fascinatingly changeable hearts and cause endless joyful wellings of laughter from my soul. I could go on, but I’ll spare you the rest of my heartfelt outbursts for later.

I had such a fun time messing around with the camera settings to capture the evening light, and I was so impressed by how sharp and interesting all the little sparks are! I didn’t even know my camera could work so well. Does anyone know why cameras can do this? Are they really just that fast? Is it something to do with how bright the sparks are? What is your favorite thing to capture?

Pleasantly puzzled,


Favorite Shots: I See The Light

This photo is almost an example of one of my favorite art concepts, tenebrism. I found this solitary light in a still church in Florence, but you can really only see the reflection from this angle. Kind of like life, eh?


“You’ll sing God’s praises to everyone you meet,
testifying, ‘I messed up my life—
and let me tell you, it wasn’t worth it.
But God stepped in and saved me from certain death.
I’m alive again! Once more I see the light!’
“This is the way God works.
Over and over again
He pulls our souls back from certain destruction
so we’ll see the light—and live in the light!”

Job 33: 28-30

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