A special Thanksgiving dessert that happens to be gluten-free. This fall inspired pavlova is layered with cinnamon whipped cream and caramelized apples.
While I have a hard time understanding the idea of being “too full” for dessert, some people have brought this concept to my attention in the past. And apparently, at Thanksgiving, this can be a thing. So with the tables full of pies (and, at our house, cookies, brownies and cakes, too), I thought it would be nice to (in addition to all the other good stuff of course) add a lighter dessert option so that even if you can’t have one more bite, you really can.
The beauty of a pavlova, is that you start with a light and airy meringue shell that can be topped however you may please. I usually think of pavlova as a summer dessert, but given that the meringue is generally a neutral flavor, putting a fall twist on it wasn’t so farfetched. Swapping berries out and caramelized apples in is a good start. Then, plain old whipped cream gets amped up a bit with a hint of cinnamon. A slice of this dessert is sweet but satisfying.
- 1 pavlova prepared at least three hours in advance (it must have time to completely cool)
- 28g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 340g (~3 cups / 2 medium) apples, thinly sliced (I prefer to use a crisp apple like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
- 235g (~1 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 15 milliliters (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice (from ~1/2 lemon)
- 5g (1 tablespoon) ground cinnamon
- 5 milliliters (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 237 milliliters (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 1g (2/3 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
- 27g (~2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter; stir in apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla;
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool completely (whipped cream will become soupy if they are too warm)
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat cream and cinnamon at medium speed until
- foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form
- When everything is ready, generously top pavlova with whipped cream and then with Caramelized apples
- Serve immediately
Pavlova can be made and kept at room temperature up to two days or frozen up to one month (store in a ziplock bag carefully because it is delicate)
Apples can be cooked a few hours in advance and stored in refrigerator; bring to room temperature before putting dessert together