Duck eggs are a real treasure. Our ducks are just starting to lay so egg size is varying quite a bit right now, but when it levels off the eggs will be significantly larger than the chicken eggs. Generally, they are said to be 50% larger than chicken eggs. But while you can use duck eggs in place of chicken eggs in just about any recipe or dish, they really aren't the same. They have a richer, fuller flavor that I love. They are higher in protein, and the egg white is translucent instead of the off-yellow color that chicken egg whites have. The yolks are a deep orange color. Some people who are allergic to chicken eggs can eat duck eggs!
And while they truly excel in baked good like this pavlova, try them in a quiche! Or chocolate chip cookies! Or delicious scrambled eggs! Or poached served over toast and avocado! Or in shakshouka! Maybe Croque Madame? Oh my, I have recipes to share in the future! But for now, here is the Duck Egg Pavlova recipe! Go pick some blackberries (might as well get something sweet from the pesky plants!) and have this for dessert tonight! Note that this pavlova is very sweet, so I recommend barely sweetening the cream before you whip it for a topping. You may also want to experiment with reducing the amount of sugar.
Duck Egg Pavlova
Adapted from Ina Garten
4 duck egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
Place the egg whites and salt in a glass or metal bowl. Use a stand or hand mixer to beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 2 minutes. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar. Beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 3 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. The meringue can be piled into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smoothed, making a rough disk, or for individual sized pavlovas, divide into 6 to 8 equally-sized disks. I find the smaller disks easier to move to individual plates for serving. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Keeping the door closed, turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven. This will take about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft and airy on the inside.
Top with fresh, slightly sweetened whipping cream and fresh blackberries and strawberries! And thank those sweet mama ducks that gave those beautiful eggs!