8.22.2009

Crowned With Cream

norwich, vt

Crowned with Cream

Recently got a surprise package in the mail from my dear friend Anjee that include a darling vintage apron and a slim, illustrated book called Festive Dessert Cookery from Peter Pauper Press {1967}.


The book embodies everything about the 1960s, with its pink and orange ink illustrations and recipes with titles like Orange Delight and Rice Imperiale. What I found the most delightful were the sentiments of the author, Evelyn Loeb, who so eloquently put into words what I’ve always felt to be true:

Every good hostess knows that the dessert makes the meal, or at the very least, is the climax. And coming last as it does, it makes the most enduring impression.

If your meal is light, choose a rich and filling dessert; if it is heavy, choose a light one. And if you are not dieting and have a healthy disregard for calorie content, select a dessert crowned with whipped cream for a party effect.

I am sure I would have loved Ms. Loeb, as I love every dessert crowned with cream, like the Pavlova. Pavlova is the perfect summer dessert made up of a snappy snow-white meringue with a marshmallowy core, crowned with luscious cream and fruit. Dotted with wild summer berries like fraise de bois, huckleberries, and tiny tart blueberries, it becomes the most seasonally inspired dessert.

It is my love for the pavolva, and the juicy ripe berries and cherries of a New England summer that made it easy to say yes when I got my annual call from Robyn Sargent, of the King Arthur Baking Center in Norwich, Vermont, requesting me to dream up another baking class. I spent the early summer in my kitchen, creating lovely pavlovas and a few other festive recipes for my class on Berries, Cherries & Stone Fruits.

Today, in the tiny town of Norwich, in a room full of bakers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Delaware, and New Jersey, we made Semolina Olive Oil Cake with Warm Sour Cherries, Buerre Noisette {Brown Butter} Pound Cake with Poached Apricots, and Pavolva, crowned with cream of course, and dressed with tiny wild blackberries and strawberries from the Killdeer Farm farm stand next door.

I love to see the look on the face of someone who claims they hate merigue when they take their first bite of ethereal pavlova. It creates, as Ms. Loeb would say, a most enduring impression.


7 comments:

Liz said...

This makes me think of your Audrey Hepburn post. Elegant. Enduring. Lovely.

Anjee said...
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keeney said...

I, too, love every dessert crowned with cream! Sarah, I've become a devoted follower of your blog!! Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful stories. I'm captivated by your lovely and charming writing style. Your passion--for food and spirits and friends and family and life--truly shines through. You're an inspiration...please keep it up! Leg kicks for edible living! xo

tara said...

This is the kind of classic dessert that makes me shun fussy, dramatic, styled, architected dishes from the sweet kitchens of today's haute cuisine. Why bother when there's pavlova and berries, of which no handling is required?

Tara Desmond said...

This is the kind of classic dessert that makes me shun the fussy, styled, architected dishes from the sweet kitchens of today's haute cuisine. Why bother when there's pavlova and berries, of which no handling is required.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, I can't think of one meal you've treated me to that hasn't made a lasting impression...maybe it IS the dessert, hmmmm. Your photos are gorgeous but dangerous, I suddenly have a "healthy disregard for calorie content" and want to dive in! Where can I get my hands on some Pavlova? -KF

Edible Living said...

Dear readers, I love you. You totally get it!

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Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.