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I am so a ‘90s girl. I grew up during that decade and fell in love with all the fun vibes of my favorite TV shows (um Friday night shows, anyone???), movies (I mean, I still say, “As if!”), and music (I still blast ‘90s pop stars).
We didn’t have phones practically glued to our hands, there was no social media, and things just felt simpler. It’s funny how the ‘90s seem both so far away and like they were just yesterday. I want to go back to the ‘90s sometimes, and in one simple way, we all can.
One of the other things I remember from this time is Zima®. Don’t get me wrong, I never tasted it. There was no underage drinking going on in my world. My aunt loved it and whenever we went to visit, she would enjoy a bottle or two poolside. She and her beverage looked so sophisticated and I couldn’t wait to grow up and experience it for myself.
Then I turned 21 and Zima® was nowhere to be found. Luckily, it’s back for a limited time in its original ‘90s packaging. I couldn’t wait to pick up a pack and taste it for the first time. The crisp, refreshing, light citrus flavors hit me right away and I instantly understood why my aunt enjoyed it. Zima® screams summer and I can’t wait to clink bottles with my friends and hopefully even my aunt.
It also inspired me to create a super summery dessert: Berry Vanilla Bean Pavlova. Like I always wanted to try Zima®, I also wanted to make Pavlova, and neither disappointed.
Pavlova might look and sound a little complicated, but I promise it is anything but. Beaten egg whites are mixed with a few simple ingredients, baked, and then topped however you want really. I do recommend using a stand mixer for the egg whites if at all possible. I used a hand mixer and um it kind of took forever. It still got done, but I wish I would have brought the stand mixer out because I know it would have taken way less time.
Back to the toppings. I highly recommend some very lightly sweetened whipped cream. You can just go with that or swirl in some lemon curd or jam. Top it with your choice of fresh fruit and dessert is served.
I am super excited to make this over and over again all summer, and I encourage you to check it out as well. Make some Pavlova, crack open some Zima®, invite your friends over, put on some ‘90s TV, movies, and music, stash those phones, and let go. I promise you won’t regret it!
Berry Vanilla Bean Pavlova
6 large egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste, divided
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon honey
Lemon curd, homemade or store bought
Blueberries, cherries, or fruit of your choice, for topping
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar followed by the tapioca and 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste.
Spread into a large circle on the prepared sheet and place in the oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees F and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until set and lightly golden. Turn the oven off and allow to cool inside the oven.
Whip the cream using a hand or stand mixer or a whisk until soft peaks form. Beat in the honey and remaining tablespoon of vanilla bean paste.
Swirl lemon curd (the perfect use for those leftover egg yolks) or jam into the whipped cream. Spread onto the baked and cooled Pavlova, leaving a border. Sprinkle with fruit and serve immediately. Pavlova may also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.