Pavlovas usually make their way to the dessert table in high summer, with fresh berries and whipped cream piled on top. For the rest of the year, we dreamed up an autumnal version you can make now and all the way through winter. Meringues are pretty easy to make, they just need enough time to dry out in your oven, so just give yourself a head start. Pumpkin whipped cream and broiled sweet-tart apples get layered with the meringues for a dramatic layer cake-like presentation. It’s a great idea for Thanksgiving but we think it makes a great birthday cake too.
For the Meringues:
1½ cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
⅛ teaspoon table salt
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Roasted Apples:
2 small Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Pumpkin Cream:
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
⅛ teaspoon table salt
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
How to Make It
Prepare the Meringues: Preheat oven to 225°F. Trace 2 9-inch circles on a sheet of parchment paper. Place parchment, pencil-side down, on a baking sheet. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cream of tartar, and salt in a bowl. Beat egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar mixture, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Beat on high until stiff peaks form; beat in vanilla. Divide meringue between 2 circles on parchment, spreading to cover circles. Bake in preheated oven until slightly puffed, 1½ hours. Turn oven off and let meringue stand in oven until dry, 8 hours or overnight.
Prepare the Roasted Apples: Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Toss apples with butter, sugar, and cinnamon; toss to coat. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 5 minutes; stir slices. Broil until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
Prepare the Pumpkin Cream: Stir together pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat cream on medium-high speed until frothy. Gradually add powdered sugar to whipped cream, beating until stiff peaks form. Stir about one-third of the sweetened whipped cream into pumpkin mixture. Gently fold in remaining sweetened whipped cream. Chill until ready to use.
Place meringue on a serving plate. Top with half of the pumpkin cream, leaving a ½-inch border. Arrange half of roasted apples on pumpkin cream. Top with second meringue. Top with remaining pumpkin cream, spreading to the edge. Top with remaining apples.
Note: Active Time includes 8 hours standing
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