Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nursery Art, Pavlova

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Nursery!
"Gretel's Garden" by Tina C. Wells,  24"x36" Acrylic on canvas
This abstract garden was a relaxing change of pace for me. So often my work is very tight and detailed. It was like a breath of fresh air to play so freely with the colors and let the painting evolve. This piece was commissioned by my friend Kristin Rinehart. She is a talented designer and owner of the design firm Huckleberry Living. She and her husband Jim are proud new parents of baby Gretel (meaning “little pearl”). The nursery featured below, Kristin designed for her daughter in their charming Coronado cottage. I love how Kristin has used unexpected pops of color, and design combinations that create a beautiful, unique space. 

Contact Kristin to design a special space for you:
To view more of her work in a previous post, click this link:

When I delivered Gretel’s painting to Kristin, we met at Tartine in her hometown of Coronado. Tartine is a wonderful little French bakery and restaurant. Just to gaze at the desserts is a treat...lovelier still is to order one and enjoy it with a cappuccino! 

Lucky me! I got to hold baby Gretel!

My friend Holly made these large beautiful pavlova desserts, to be cut and shared.
The recipe below is for individual servings.

I have many favorites at Tartine, but one of my top picks is Pavlova. It is especially nice in the summer with all the fresh fruit in season. 
The tricky part of Pavlova is cooking the meringue to a perfect crispness. This is my sister’s recipe that she has had success with. If you don’t want to make meringue, Trader Joe’s sells small meringues and can be used in the recipe below.


serves 10

1/2 lb. Strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBS powdered sugar 
1/2 lb. blueberries
1/2 lb. peaches
1/2 lb. raspberries
(kiwi and bananas are often added as well)
30 meringues (Trader Joe’s) or follow recipe below to make meringues

In a blender, place strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice and blend on high until liquid and smooth.  Whip cream in mixer with vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon strawberry puree evenly onto individual plates, place 3 mimi meringues on top in a triangle with space in the middle. Fill middle with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with fruit.

4 large egg whites
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp. caster sugar (this is very fine sugar- take granulated sugar and place in food processor or blender and pulse until fine, but not powdery)
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar, sifted (measure then sift)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixer, on medium speed, whisk egg whites until fluffy with stiff peaks.
Increase speed and add caster sugar slowly, a TBS at a time. 
Mixture should be thick and glossy.
Add about 1/3 of powdered sugar and fold in gently, repeat 1/3 at a time with remaining powdered sugar until all incorporated. 
Mixture should look smooth and billowy.
Drop in rounds onto baking sheet.

Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool. 
Store in airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Aww so so sweet! Gretel loves her Auntie Tina & we absolutley adore your gifted art! It makes her nursey & is a joy to look at all day long (were in that room a lot)! :)
    We love you! K & little g