Cranberry and Pistachio Pavlova Roulade with Date Cream Filling

This is one of those show-stopping desserts that not only looks gorgeous, but tastes delicious.  There are a number of steps, but you can certainly make them in different stages.  The pavlova can be made a day ahead, and the cranberry filling can be made two days ahead.  Once you get it rolled up, you’ll love how pretty it looks.  And the compliments from those privileged to eat it will make you want to make it again.

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Ingredients (serves 8-10):

For Pavlova:
7 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons white vinegar

For Fruit Filling:

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
zest of 1lime
juice of 2 limes
3/4 cup pistachios, shelled, toasted, and roughly chopped

For Cream Filling:

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon date syrup
zest of 1 lime

Topping for Pavlova:

1 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
pomegranate arils
5 rosemary sprigs

Method: To make pavlova, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9”X13” pan with parchment paper long enough to hang over the sides.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Continue beating, adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until all the sugar is blended into the egg whites, and stiff peaks form.  Add the cornstarch and vinegar and blend until combined.  Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet on top of the parchment paper.  Smooth the top and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the fruit filling.  In a large saucepan place the cranberries and maple syrup.  Cook over medium heat and stir occasionally until cranberries have popped open and mixture has thickened.  Add lime zest, lime juice, and pistachios.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat and cool completely.

Make the cream filling by pouring the heavy cream into a large bowl, and whip with an electric beater for one minute.  Add powdered sugar slowly while still beating, and add date syrup and lime zest.  Whip until stiff peaks are formed.  Chill in refrigerator until needed.

For the topping decorations, place 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan and simmer until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool slightly, and add the fresh cranberries to coat with syrup.  Then roll cranberries in a bowl of remaining sugar.

To assemble the pavlova roulade, carefully remove the pavlova out of the pan by pulling the extended parchment paper.  Place the pavlova, still attached to paper on a dish towel.  Spread the cranberry lime filling over the pavlova, then spread three fourths of the cream over the berry mixture. Save remaining cream to spread on finished roll. Starting on long edge of the pavlova, begin slowly rolling as tightly as possible, removing the parchment paper as you go.  Don’t worry if it cracks a bit. Carefully transfer the roulade to a serving platter.  Using an offset spatula, spread the remaining cream over the outside.  It won’t cover it completely.  Top the roulade with a pile of sugared cranberries, pomegranates and rosemary sprigs.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

DessertSavanna Givens