Refreshing Citrus Pavlova

Citrus Pavlova (1 of 1) Citrus Pavlova (2) (1 of 2) Citrus Pavlova (2) (2 of 2)

I’ve been thinking a lot about this new year, making goals and everything I’d like to accomplish. I had planned to share my list of lofty ideas here sooner rather than later. And while list making and goal setting usually brings me great joy, for some reason it wasn’t doing the trick this year. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I actually had time during December to sit back and reflect, or if I’ve somehow escaped the usual January gloom that sets in. But I’m just feeling pretty content right now, and more focused on thinking about the person I want to be rather than the things I want to check off a list.

It’s been a long, often arduous process to get to know myself. And from what I’ve heard, that process never really ends. Despite the unending nature of this journey, I feel I’m at a place where I actually do know what I want out of the next 5-10 years. I know where I’d like to be with Bird is the Word, we have an idea of what we’d like our family to look like, what our “dream” home looks like and we have a long list of fun things to experience. And a lot of my “goals” for the year, are things that aren’t going to be too terribly difficult to accomplish. Some are even things that are already on the calendar.

Perhaps that explains my disenchantment. That, or that fact that I’ve finally realized that the best things happen naturally, organically, without me engineering them to death. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple months thinking not only about who I am in terms of what I want for the future, but also about what got me here. Reflecting on things, moments or people who played a huge role in shaping my heart and mind. I’ve been reading books from my childhood that were a huge influence, realizing that my longing for a simple life, working with my hands and appreciating silly, romantic moments are all a product of Laura Ingalls and Anne Shirley’s early friendships. Realizing the interests of my Mom that I balked at for years, are things that I actually really enjoy- gardening, hiking, babies and perusing the L.L.Bean catalog. Slowly embracing the traits of my parents- good and bad- that have started to appear in recent years, especially as I think about my own future family. And I can’t help but feel content, being able to look back and see the beauty in all the things that have got me to where I am. I’m distant enough now from a lot of the more painful or awkward memories of growing up and reminiscing has lost it’s bitter and retained it’s sweet.

All of this reflecting hasn’t left much room for that burning, ambitious feeling I usually feel in January. And you know what, I’m think I’m grateful for that. While I still have goals and plans to work my tail off, right now in these slow months, I’m feeling renewed and refreshed and in no hurry to lose either of those feelings.

Speaking of being refreshed, it’s officially citrus season (yay!) and I’ve been saving this recipe for almost a year to share with you. I served this dessert at my first dinner ever and was so very proud of how it turned out. Blood orange sorbet might possibly be the cure to any sort of seasonal affective disorder, so whether you are feeling refreshed like me, or totally weighed down by January gloom, at least make the sorbet portion of this dish. The citrus, honey, mint fruit salad is pretty darn wonderful, too. Hooray for citrus season, hooray for where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Citrus Pavlova
Ingredients
  • [b]Pavlovas:[/b]
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • [b]Citrus Salad:[/b]
  • 2 Cara Cara navel oranges
  • 2 red grapefruit
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 pomellos
  • 2 bunches mint, chiffonade
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • [b]Whipped Cream:[/b]
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • zest from citrus
  • [b]Blood Orange Sorbet:[/b]
  • Blood Orange Juice 2 cups
  • Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Champagne splash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200.
  2. Mix 1 Tbs. of sugar with cornstarch and set aside. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add the sugar a little at a time until thick and glossy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture, then fold in vinegar and vanilla. Make six mounds of meringue on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a large spoon, create a nest or bowl shape in each meringue. Bake for 2 hours, until crisped, then turn off the oven and let them sit until cool. Gently pry them off the paper and place on serving platter.
  3. For fruit salad, reserve the zest and then supreme the citrus. Chiffonade the mint and mix in with the fruit, adding honey.
  4. For the sorbet, heat sugar in saucepan with just enough blood oranges juice to cover. Stir into reserved juice. Add champagne.
  5. Spin in ice cream maker. Freeze until solid.

 

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