The Scandinavian summer has come and almost gone. It has been quite the rainy summer this year with intermittent sunny days. You can feel it in the air, it's getting crisper and cooler and the sky is a beautiful autumnal blue. It's this time in between summer and autumn where everything is beginning to change.
Which also describes where we're at in our lives at the moment. My husband and I recently sold our home through 10 years and bought a new place in another area of Copenhagen. It really isn't far, Copenhagen is a small capital. But I hate saying goodbye. This is the first place I have really lived as an adult. This is where I woke up on my wedding day. This is where I brought our son home last year. This is where I found out who I am and who I am not. And it is strange, this knowing that the days here are numbered. That when I walk out that day on October I will never be here again. All the little nooks and crannies I know by heart. The places I look at and not only see a scratch or a spot, but a memory. And I know our new home will be full of memories of their own. So I am enjoying my final summer here. And I am looking forward to the first fall there.
And so these mini pavlova are kind of my flavour association for harvest, this mini hybrid season. Something smokey and sweet, salty and with a definite tart note, they just hit all the right buttons for a comforting dessert that's not quite summer, not quite autumn.
Maple + smoked salt mini pavlovas with sweet corn cream and blueberries
Maple + smoked salt meringues
100g maple sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp. smoked salt
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
2 large egg whites at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 120C/250F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace 10cm/4 inch circles on the paper. Flip the parchment over and set aside.
Mix the cornstarch and maple sugar together. Put the egg whites and salt in a bowl and start mixing on low speed. When the egg whites turn frothy and opaque start adding the maple sugar in 1 tablespoon at a time while gradually increasing the speed of the mixer. Beat the egg whites until the meringue is glossy and smooth and there are no sugar granules left. Sprinkle over the vinegar and mix for another 15 seconds. Divide the meringue onto the four circles and bake for 50 minutes. Cool the meringue on a cooling rack.
Sweet corn pastry cream
175g frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. corn starch
Pinch of salt
2 1/2dl whole milk
Puree the corn kernels and pass through a fine meshed sieve and mix with the whole milk. Whisk together the sugar, corn starch, salt and egg yolks in a small bowl. Bring the milk to just below boiling point in a small saucepan and pour 1/3 over the yolk mixture while whisking. Return the mixture to the pan and thicken over medium-low heat until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour the pastry cream in a bowl, place a piece of cling film directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Fresh blueberries, roughly 200g
Red sorrel leaves
Ground Ceylon cinnamon
Place the ground cinnamon on a dry pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant. Spoon the sweet corn pastry cream over the four meringue bases and top with the blueberries. Sprinkle with lime zest, toasted cinnamon and garnish with red sorrel leaves.