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Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free

Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free

By Karen Morgan

Published 2010

  • About

This favorite dessert of Australia was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova by a chef who wanted to create something “as light and ethereal as the dancer herself.” He achieved his goal with this meringue crust topped with whipped cream and an assortment of fresh fruit. This recipe was given to me by my ex-brother-in-law, Clayton, and it was one of the first desserts I actually enjoyed after my diagnosis.



  • cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract


    For the meringue: Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace a 12-inch round on the paper with a pencil.

    In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir with a whisk until smooth. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they begin to froth and turn opaque. Decrease mixer speed to low, and add the sugar mixture in ½-cup increments, immediately followed by the vinegar. Continue to beat on high speed for at least 2 minutes, until the whites form stiff peaks. Increase mixer speed to high and pour the boiling water into the egg whites all at once. The egg whites will swell up considerably. Beat the egg whites until the water is totally incorporated, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks.

    With a rubber spatula, take some of the meringue and carefully fill in the base of the traced circle. Continue to add meringue to make a thick cake.

    Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°F and bake for 40 minutes, or until set.

    Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan on a wire rack. Gently remove the parchment paper by rolling it out from under the meringue; take care, as the meringue will be very delicate.

    For the whipped cream: In a deep bowl, beat the cream until it begins to hold its shape. Add the sugar and the vanilla and almond extract. Beat until soft peaks form.

    Carefully spread the whipped cream over the top of the meringue and top with the mixed fresh fruit. Serve at once, cut into wedges.