Amazing (Light) Sweets From Top Chefs: Exotic Fruit Pavlova


Host of the Food Network’s popular Challenge series, chef Keegan Gerhard began his career as a chef while training as an Olympic cyclist. His recipe for pavlova is sweet but only 178 calories per serving.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes plus freeze time
Makes 6 servings

Tropical Granita:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice, divided
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons passion fruit juice

French Meringue:
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons sifted powdered
sugar, divided

2 tablespoons passion fruit juice
2 cubed, peeled ripe mangoes
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 thinly sliced, peeled mango

1. Granita: Scrape vanilla bean seeds into bowl. Add sugar; mash with fork.

2. In a small saucepan, warm 1/4 cup pineapple juice and sugar mixture until sugar is melted. Cool.

3. Combine mixture with remaining juices; freeze overnight in shallow pan. Remove from freezer 5–10 minutes be-fore serving. Rake with fork to serve.

4. Meringues: In a medium bowl, whip egg whites, gradually adding 6 tablespoons sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in 3 tablespoons powdered sugar with spatula.

5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon meringue into 6 mounds; sprin-kle with remaining powdered sugar.

6. Bake at 250º until crust forms but center is soft, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool, transfer to an airtight con-tainer, and place in the freezer until ready to use, up to 3 weeks.

8. Sauce: Combine the passion fruit juice and cubed mango with sugar (if needed) in a blender; add water if mixture is too thick. Place a pool of sauce onto each of 6 dessert plates. Place meringue on top of sauce. Drape mango slices on the plate, and add a small scoop of granita. Serve immediately. (Serving size: 1 pavlova)

By Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD