As hip hostesses and exceptional entertainers, what we serve at the end of our Independence Day meals ought to make a bang. Patriotic is one of the easier celebration motifs to pull off...the direction of the theme and decor are already defined. The menu provides an opportunity to create something unexpected. For dessert, Flag Cakes are still bakery best sellers and popular choices for home bakers for July 4th. Those of us seeking a trendier finale to our holiday meal need to consider other options.
For wow factor, presenting a Pavlova with seasonal berries will make a bold statement while maintaining a nod to tradition. Vibrant red and blue on a puff of white is quite dramatic. Palvola is a dessert guest do not come across frequently, it will impress without a great deal of effort. Macerated red and blue summertime fruits provide a sumptuous syrup that cascades over a barely there meringue cloud and whipped cream. Try Ina Garten's Mixed Berry Palvola for terrific results. Time savvy party throwers may order the Pavlovas from their favorite bakery and add berries and whipped cream before serving.
Ina's recipe calls for one large round but it could easily be converted to make individual disks for more elegant gatherings. To reduce the sugar, simply top the Pavlova with fresh berries. Any imperfections are hidden under the whipped cream and berry sauce. The Palvola may also be broken into pieces and serve parfait style.