Pavloa is by far one of my favorite desserts. The crunchy and soft combination is unique and combined with fresh berries and whipped cream - WOW. It's visually stunning and surprisingly easy to make. I guarantee if you bring this out at your next dinner party jaws will drop.
What is Pavlova
Pavlova is a baked meringue made of egg whites, vanilla, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. It has a crunchy exterior and a soft interior, very similar to a marshmallow. There is a lot of debate about the origins but Australia is the consensus dating back to the very early 1900s.
How do I make Pavlova?
While it's pretty simple to make, it does take some planning and time. All of the steps can be done ahead of time, but don't assemble the Pavlova until you're ready to serve. I suggest gathering all of the ingredients for each step of the process rather than all at once.
Let's start with the meringue. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. I know there are all sorts of ways to separate the yolk from the egg whites but this is the way my aunt taught me. Crack your egg down as close to the middle as possible and then just transfer from one half of the shell to the other.
Place the egg whites and salt into your mixer and beat on high with the whisk attachment until stiff - it will look a little foamy. It should take about a minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add your sugar in and beat for another two minutes or until it's nice and shiny and stiff peaks form.
Sift your cornflour on top and then add the vanilla and vinegar.
Gently fold the cornstarch, vanilla, and vinegar into the egg-white mixture. A lot of people are intimidated by folding but it's very easy. Slowly scrape the sides of the bowl and simply fold over onto the top. It's all about being slow, careful, and GENTLE. If you stir or fold too hard or fast, you'll knock all the air out of the meringue.
Next, take a piece of parchment paper and draw a 9" circle with a pencil. The easiest way to do this is to use a plate as your guide.
Flip the parchment paper over (pencil drawing on the bottom) and place it on a large baking sheet. Gently pile the meringue in the middle of the circle and then spread the meringue being careful to stay within the lines. Make a little well in the center that will eventually hold the cream and the berries.
Place the meringue in an oven preheated to 300 F and bake for one hour. Without opening the oven door, turn the oven off and leave it for about another 45 minutes to an hour. It should be a very pale brown or tan color and sound hollow when you tap it very gently. Don't worry if there are a few cracks, it'll be just fine.
While the meringue is cooling, make your berry sauce.
Place everything but the Chambord in a small saucepan and over low heat bring to just a boil. Simmer for a few minutes or until the jam has completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the Chambord or other raspberry liqueur. Run the sauce through a sieve to remove any seeds; there will be more than you think.
Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
Finally, make your whipped cream. Just put everything in your mixer and beat on high until soft peaks form. You can substitute vanilla extract for the almond if you'd like without doing any harm at all.
Now the moment we've all been waiting for... drum roll, please: let's assemble our pavlova!! It's so simple. Very gently peel the baked meringue off of the parchment paper and place it on your serving dish.
Add your whipped cream into the center.
Add the berries on top and spoon the cooled sauce over the top. If it runs down the side? Who cares. In my house, we make the Pavlova all pretty to serve, then add more sauce when it's on the plate. (The sauce is also REALLY good on pancakes.)
Yes - that's basil I used as a garnish. If you've never had strawberries and basil you're missing out. Slice it up and prepare to close your eyes and go MMmmmmmmm.
- Stand mixer or hand mixer Stand mixer is preferred and easier
- Parchment paper and pencil
- Baking Tray
- 4 extra large egg whites ,room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup strawberries ,fresh and sliced
- ½ cup blueberries ,fresh
- ½ cup raspberries ,fresh
- 1 cup raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbs Chambord or other raspberry liqueur
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 °F
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. With a pencil, draw a 9” circle using an inverted plate as a guide. Then flip the parchment paper over so you don’t get pencil marks on the meringue
- Place the egg whites and salt into a large bowl and beat on high until firm, about a minute.
- With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until shiny and stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes.
- Sift the cornstarch onto the beaten eggs then add in the vinegar and vanilla.
- Gently fold the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla into the egg mixture until just combined. To fold, using a rubber spatula, slowly scrape the sides of the bowl and when enough meringue in on the spatula gently fold it over on to the top.
- Pile the meringue onto the parchment paper being careful to stay within the pencil circle
- Make a shallow well in the center so it can hold the cream and berries.
- Bake for one hour - it should be a very pale off-white color. Then turn the oven off and without opening the door, let rest in the oven for another hour. It should make a nice hollow sound when tapped. Small cracks are normal.
While the meringue is cooking, make the raspberry sauce.
- Place the raspberries, sugar, water, and jam in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the jam is fully melted and the raspberries are soft.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Chambord. (The Chambord may be omitted if you don't want to use alcohol).
- Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds.
- Cool completely.
While the meringue and sauce are cooling, make the whipped cream.
- Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and beat on high speed until soft peaks form
Assemble the Pavlova - do not do this until you are ready to serve.
- Gently peel the meringue off of the parchment paper and place on your serving dish
- Spoon the whipped cream into the well of the meringue spreading evenly. Do not go all the way to the edge; leave at least one inch of space.
- Place the mixed berries on top of the cream then gently pour or spoon the completely cooled raspberry sauce on top.
- Garnish with fresh basil or mint if desired.