The recipe for this amazing dessert comes from a darling person, aunt Turkan, my friend’s mom. Aunt Turkan made it for one of our get-togethers here and I absolutely loved it. It was mixed fruits - plums, bananas, berries, grapes and other fruits I can’t remember - lushly covered with a creamy blanket. The cream, my friends, was out of this world. Luscious and velvety, it was perfumed with lemon and vanilla - a heavenly combination. Loved it!
So here it comes. I deviated from the original recipe and used a layer of sliced banana, followed by a layer of mixed fresh fruits instead of all kinds of mixed fruits. I also used my go-to garnish - fresh mint leaves - to decorate the top. One can never go wrong with fresh berries and mint, right?
Banana and Berries with Cream
Note: If you wish, make this dessert in individual cups or glasses. Also, the cream here is pudding-thick. If you prefer a looser cream, increase the amount of milk in the recipe accordingly.
For the Cream:
2 1/4 cup whole milk
14 tablespoons granulates sugar (yes, I used tablespoons)
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch (substitute: potato flour)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fine lemon zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Fruit Layer:
5-6 bananas, cut into thick circles
3-4 cups mixed fresh raspberries, blueberries and boysenberries (or any other berries of your choice, such as strawberries)
Fresh mint leaves
First, prepare the cream. In a medium saucepan combine milk, eggs, sugar, flour, cornstarch and lemon juices. Whisk thoroughly to blend, until no lumps remain. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook, until the mixture is slightly thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and butter. Whisk with a baloon whisk or a hand mixer, until the butter is incorporated. Set the cream aside.
Meanwhile, arrange the banana slices on the bottom of a 13 x 10 (33 x 25 cm) pyrex dish in a single layer.
Spread mixed berries on top.
Friends, thank you for taking the time to watch the first episode of AZ Cookbook on AZRU TV. Some of you watched it even without understanding a single word I said:), but were kind enough to leave words of encouragement in their comments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you who missed my post about that episode - I demonstrated how to make Pavlova with fresh berries. The program was in Russian, but I wanted to share the recipe with my English readers as well.
Cake Pavlova was created in honor of the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova when she toured Australia and New Zealand in the 20s of the 20th century. One theory holds that the cake was first made in Australia, but New Zealanders claim Pavlova is their invention.
Pavlova consists of a meringue shell topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits, typically, passion fruit, kiwi, and strawberries, but often raspberries and blueberries as well, like in this recipe. The meringue shell is absolutely delicious - it is marshmallow-soft inside and crunchy on the outside. Cream on top and berries with fresh mint as an added bonus - and you’ve created paradise for your palate. Pavlova is also easy to make. Just follow the recipe. Enjoy!
Fresh Berry Pavlova
Serves about 8
To see the process, go to AZ Cookbook on AZRU TV.
For the Meringue Shell:
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (they should not be cold - important!)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup ( 7 oz / 190 g) superfine sugar (if you don’t have superfine sugar, process regular granulated sugar in a food processor until fine, but not powdery)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Cream:
1 1/4 (300 ml / 10 fl.oz ) cup heavy cream (butterfat content: 35-40%), chilled (important!)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the Top:
Mixed fresh raspberries and blueberries
A few fresh mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 200F (100C). Set the rack on the middle of the oven.
Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl (the bowl should be clean and absolutely dry!). Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy.
Add the vinegar and cornstarch. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
Adding the sugar gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time, continue beating until the mixture is glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes. To check if the mixture is ready: lift the beaters - if the mixture holds its shape as a pointy peak that stays on the beaters, it is ready. Add the vanilla extract and beat just until blended.