Pink Peppercorn Pavlova with Strawberries, Vanilla Cream, and Basil Syrup
1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 (1-pint) basket strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 (1-pint) basket strawberries, hulled, quartered
Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
For basil syrup:
Blanch 1/3 cup basil leaves in small saucepan of boiling water 30 seconds. Drain, then transfer basil to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain; squeeze out excess water from basil. Puree basil with corn syrup in blender. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop. Bring basil syrup to room temperature, then strain through sieve into small bowl.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 275°. Firmly trace six 21/2-inch circles on parchment paper, then invert onto baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating to medium-firm peaks. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Gradually beat sugar-cornstarch mixture into meringue; continue beating until very stiff. Beat in white wine vinegar. Fold in peppercorns. Divide meringue between circles; spread to fill completely. Bake until outside is dry, about 25 minutes. Turn oven off and open door just slightly. Let meringues cool in oven until completely dry, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
For strawberry coulis:
Puree berries and sugar in blender until smooth.
For vanilla cream:
Place cream and sugar in medium bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat cream to soft peaks. do ahead Coulis and vanilla cream can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.
Place small dollop of vanilla cream in center of each of 6 plates. Spoon circle of strawberry coulis around vanilla cream. Top each with 1 meringue. Spoon generous amount of vanilla cream atop meringues. Top with quartered strawberries and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle basil syrup over and serve.