Chocolate Pavlova Pie

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Looking for a dessert that EVERY ONE can enjoy? Hailing from Australia, a Pavlova is comprised of a meringue shell filled with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit. Crispy, chewy, and a bit messy, it’s a marvelous treat (and it’s naturally gluten free!).

While making the meringue is not difficult, creating the free form shell can often be tricky. I solve the problem here with the use of a pie plate—hence the “pie” in the title of this Pavlova-style dessert. Dark cocoa powder adds a delicious chocolatey twist and beautiful fresh berries crown the top. Sometimes I go with raspberries, and other times, a pile of sliced strawberries. Go for broke by adding a drizzle of chocolate of fudge syrup across the whole thing just before serving!

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

3 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch-process preferred
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups light whipped topping, thawed
1 pound of fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF.  Spray a 9-inch glass pie plate well with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Whisk together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar in a medium bowl and place over simmering water. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.

3. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric mixer on high for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Using a sifter, sift in cocoa powder and cornstarch, and then fold it in using a large spatula.  Stir in vanilla, taking care to not deflate the egg whites.

4. Spoon the meringue into the pie pan, pushing it halfway up the sides to create a wide shallow well in the center. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the outside is dry and crisp (some cracking is normal). Turn off the oven, open the oven door slightly, and leave the Pavlova in the oven to dry for one hour.

5. When cooled, spread the whipped topping evenly over the Pavlova and top with strawberries.

Marlene Says: Because they require no flour, meringue-based desserts are naturally lower in carbohydrates. Sugar provides not only the sweetness, but all of the structure.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: Calories 140 | Carbohydrate 26g (Sugars 22g) | Total Fat 2g (Sat Fat 1g) | Protein 3g | Fiber 2g | Cholesterol 35mg | Sodium 30mg | Food Exchanges: 1 Carbohydrate, ½ Fruit | Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 | Weight Watcher Plus Point Comparison: 3

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