Valentine’s Recipe: Strawberry Pavlova with Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream

There exists a dessert named after a tutu and somehow it escaped me.

The Pavlova — an airy puff of meringue filled with whipped cream and berries — was created by a chef in Australia in honor of a visit from ballerina Anna Pavlova.

It’s gorgeous.

It’s also as fussy as the worst prima ballerina that ever danced across the stage. I made SEVEN, in one week, trying to get the meringue to obey.

The key, if there is one, is to have your egg whites at room temperature and to use fine baker’s sugar or caster sugar. This recipe is the one that finally worked for me. For the whipped cream, I use 1 1/2 cups cream, whipped with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Right at the end, whip in 3 Tablespoons creme fraiche. It’s as good as whipped cream gets, I promise.

Toss one pint of sliced strawberries with 2 Tablespoons of sugar about 30 minutes before spooning on top of the pavlova. Serve immediately.