Miniature Pavlovas – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Miniature Pavlovas - FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Ignore the dietary guidelines that these Pavs suit in the title… these are not  a health food.

I didn’t think it was possible to love a dessert more than I love a good Pav but I found one. I suppose it might not really count, as these are still Pavlovas… but they’re mini, cute and you don’t feel like such a guts after eating one, as I find it easier to have just one of these than to cut a small slice from a big Pav.

Sweet, with a crispy outside and a perfect marshmallowy inside… what more could you want? Whipped cream and fruit on top? Of course you can.

These are perfect for a dinner party or a high tea (I really want to host one of those!), as you can bake them a day ahead and store them (once cooled) in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (aka. the pantry). They will turn a little soft in the fridge (though they still taste amazing) but once the whipped cream has gone on, that’s where they need to be stored.

Notes:

  1. Sucrose (castor sugar) is 1:1 fructose/glucose but if eaten in excess can overwhelm the co-transport method of fructose absorption, so for this reason I would recommend stopping yourself at one mini Pav per day. Which even normal people should do, really.
  2. Normal double cream can be swapped out for lactose free double cream or full fat coconut cream (both of which can be whipped) or lactose free yoghurt.
  3. Two raspberries and 1-2 tbsp. of strawberry sauce would fall within the label of a “single serving” of fruit.

Miniature Pavlovas

Makes approx. 16

  • 4 eggs whites
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 250 g castor sugar
  • 2 tsp. corn or potato starch
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 300 ml double cream – lactose free if required
  • Fruit of your choice to top

Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/300 F.

In a cool, airy kitchen (no dishwasher running!) beat together the egg whites and salt on a medium speed for 2 minutes, then a high speed for a further 3 minutes, or until satiny peaks form.

Then add in the sugar (in thirds) and beat on a high speed until stiff peaks form. This is important, as you need the batter to hold its shape or it will just pool once you’ve piped it onto the baking tray.

Finally, add in the potato starch, white wine vinegar and vanilla extract and stir on a slow speed for a minute to combine everything.

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Transfer the mixture to a piping bag (or a large zip lock bag with a 1 cm snip off the corner) and pipe about 1/3 cup batter in a swirl onto the baking tray. As Ev said, they will look like Pavlova dog poo – have a laugh and keep going. I spaced mine evenly and had eight mini Pavs per baking tray.

Bake for 50-60 minutes at 150 C/300 F, swapping the bottom/top trays half way through to ensure equal cooking.

Once they have cooled, top with whipped cream and berries and serve with this strawberry sundae sauce or passion fruit pulp drizzled over the top.

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Passion Fruit & Blueberry Tartlets – Fructose Friendly

Passion fruit & blueberry tartlets - delicious!

I think you might have gathered by now that I love passion fruit and I’m shattered that it’s so hard to find up here in the Pacific Northwest. But thanks to my Australian connections, I have a small stash of the canned pulp at my disposal. I’m not joking; it’s very small. I have three cans left that are about 4 oz each. I made one can last a month by using it sparingly in and on desserts – a little goes a long way.

Ev and I had some friends over for dinner on Friday night, and I wanted to make something new for dessert. Chocolate eclairs had to be on the list but I have made so many Pavlovas recently (I can see some people nodding) that I felt the need for a change.

I wanted whatever I would make to be small and pretty; small because we already had eclairs on the menu and pretty because I like looking at what I’m about to eat 😛

I had a few tablespoons of passion fruit pulp left over that needed to be used before we go home to visit for two weeks and an 8 oz pack of cream cheese. So I knew whatever it would be would have passion fruit cream cheese icing either in or on it… which is my favourite icing ever.

Eventually I decided on passion fruit cream cheese fruit tartlets with blueberries on top. That’s a pretty good mix of fruit to me. Here are the recipes for the different components used in making them.

GF Sour Cream Pastry:

This recipe is shown in more detail here. To make it with wheat flour, just substitute normal plain flour for the GF plain flour and omit the xantham gum.

Preheat the oven to 200 C or 390 F. Makes 24 mini tart shells/tartlets.

  • 120 ml sour cream (do not use all of it if unnecessary)
  • 250 g GF plain flour
  • 1 tspn. xantham gum
  • 3 tbsp. icing sugar (for sweet pastry)
  • 200 g unsalted butter, chilled

Sift the flour and xantham gum (and the optional sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Dice the butter into small cubes and add to flour mix. Blend until the butter has combined with the flour and the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Add the sour cream gradually until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. It should be tacky but not sticking to your fingers. Wrap the dough tightly in glad wrap and refrigerate it for approx. 20 minutes before working with it. Try and keep handling of the dough to a minimum, or the butter will begin to melt. If this happens, re-wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for another 5 minutes to chill it and begin again. When the pastry warms up it becomes increasingly fragile and harder to work with.

Place the unwrapped ball onto a GF floured bench and knead for 30 seconds.

Cut pastry ball in quarters. Roll the pastry between two layers of wax paper (to prevent sticking) until it is about 3mm thick. GF pastry can be temperamental and fragile. Peel off one side of the wax paper, then replace it loosely; flip the dough over and remove the other sheet of wax paper and slice it into six roughly even pieces. Peel each piece off the wax paper gently and then carefully transfer the pastry into the awaiting pan. Spray your dishes with olive oil to assist with pastry removal later on.

At this point, I like to freeze the pastry for about 10 minutes before blind baking it. Then, I add baking paper and ceramic baking balls to prevent bubbling while baking and bake it at 200 C for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Remove the baking paper and pie weights and return the pastry to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. When it is golden brown, it is completely cooked.

Place them in their pans on a cooling rack for 15 minutes and them remove from the pans and cool completely.

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The cooked tartlet shells – unfortunately my oven developed a hot spot at the back left corner. As you can see, the not-so-pretty shells are hidden in the middle. They still tasted fine.

Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 300 g/10 oz full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp. passion fruit pulp
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter, passion fruit pulp and vanilla extract together until they are light and fluffy.

Gradually add the icing sugar, beating each portion til it is well combined. The amount listed is a guideline only, you might have a sweet tooth and want to put in the full 2 cups.

As one of our guests pointed out, the “tartness” that passion fruit can sometimes bring to a meal wasn’t present here. I think that it’s due to a combination of using canned passion pulp as well as the generous amount of icing sugar involved.

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Assembly:

It couldn’t be more simple. Dollop a generous amount of the cream cheese mixture into the tartlet shells and decorate with blueberries.

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I decided after a little while that they needed a little extra something, so I picked some mint leaves from our herb garden and used it as a garnish. It made the blueberries look a little like a flower, which was nice.

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Dust with icing sugar closer to when you serve, or it will absorb moisture over time and you will lose some of the “powdered” look.

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Served with gluten free/fructose friendly chocolate eclairs for dessert.

Finally, eat and enjoy!