During one memorable season eight episode of "Barefoot Contessa," Ina Garten made an immaculate-looking mixed berry pavlova for her husband's surprise beachfront birthday party. "It was named after Anna Pavlova, who was a famous ballerina," she said. "I think probably because the meringue looks like her tutu."
She reminded us that this dessert exists in her most recent email, and she also reminded us that, if we really want one, we're going to have to make it ourselves. Fortunately — despite the fact that she's given the recipe an "Intermediate" rating — it's not as daunting as you'd think. Plus, you can make the sauce, the meringue, and the sweetened whipped cream in advance and assemble it when you're ready. (Like, before you pull off an elaborate surprise BBQ dinner for your adoring spouse. Or before you sit alone watching nine straight episodes of "The Staircase.")
Get the recipe: Mixed Berry Pavlova from Ina Garten
If you're already nervous about making any dessert that involves a meringue, don't be. Just ensure that your egg whites are at room temperature when you get started, and don't worry about how it comes out of the oven. Whether it looks like Anna Pavlova's tutu or a sad deflated balloon, it's going to be completely covered with whipped cream, berries, and a rich raspberry sauce. The best mistakes are always the ones you can hide or you can eat. Or both.
Although there's no wrong time to make a dessert — any dessert, really — Ina says that this one is "one of her favorites" for summer, probably because it takes advantage of in-season strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. And, like so many of her recipes, the ingredient list isn't overwhelming; the only thing you might not have on hand is Chambord or another raspberry liqueur for the triple raspberry sauce. But if you pick a bottle up, you can mix it with a light rosé or a bold white wine to make an easy summer wine cooler.
Just don't forget to raise your glass in Ina's direction — and maybe raise one for Anna too.