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Monday, May 11, 2009

Pavlova Recipe

Pavlova With Blackberry, Raspberries, Mandarins, Kiwis and Strawberries

Pavlova With Blackberry, Raspberries, Mandarins, Kiwis and Strawberries

A Pavlova is a baked meringue dessert. It is made by beating egg whites and other ingredients to stiff peaks, then baking the mass “low and slow” so that the outer crust becomes crisp like a cookie but the inside remains soft like a marshmallow. It is then usually topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits. The Pavlova was created to honor the famed Russian dancer Anna Pavlova after one of her tours to New Zealand.

Our friend Felicia made a Pavlova for us at a previous dinner at their house, so I asked her to make another one for dessert for our recent Ultimate Ribs Showdown meal. I also asked her to provide the recipe and take pictures (I know, such a demanding host!) so that I could post the Pavlova recipe later. Here is that recipe.

Pavlova Recipe

(Adapted FromCanadian Living’s Desserts”) Makes 6-8 servings.

6 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
2 kiwifruit, sliced


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place bottomless 8 inch or 9 inch springform pan on top of paper. Trace the perimeter of the pan with a pencil onto the parchment. Turn parchment upside down.

3. In a bowl, beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Pavlova soft peaks

4. Gradually beat in sugar in thin steady stream until stiff glossy peaks form.

Pavlova stiff glossy peaks

5. Sift in cornstarch; fold in vinegar and vanilla. Batter should be a marshmallow consistency.

Pavlova marshmallow

6. Spoon batter onto prepared pan inside the drawn circle and smooth perimeter; smooth top.

Pavlova circle

7. Bake at 275 F oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until crisp and lightly browned on outside but still soft in middle.

8. Let cool completely (meringue may deflate).

Pavlova baked

9. Run knife under meringue. Carefully remove paper. (Meringue can be loosely covered and stored for up to 3 days.) Remove loose bits from meringue.

10. Whip cream; spread over top of meringue.

11. Garnish with raspberries, blueberries and kiwifruit or whatever fruit you may have on hand.

Pavlova with Berries, Mandarins, Kiwis and Strawberries

Pavlova with Berries, Mandarins, Kiwis and Strawberries

Strawberries and Kiwis are classic toppings for a Pavlova. Felicia also made a second Pavlova with just blackberries, raspberries and strawberries in a raspberry sauce. Both were very good!

Pavlova with Strawberries Raspberries and Blackberries

Another good thing about Pavlovas are that they are naturally gluten-free. So if you’re allergic to wheat gluten, this dessert is for you!

Aloha, Nate

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This post was submitted to "Mithai Mela" at Cooking 4 all Seasons and also to "Tasty Tools" at Joelen's Culinary Adventures.

Hungry for more desserts? Click below:

Easy Green Tea Tiramisu Recipe

Sake-Poached Asian Pears

Barley with Fuchok and Gingko Nuts

Peach and Plum Granitas

Honeydew Sago Dessert: A Refreshing Summer Treat!


Christelle said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!

Soma said...

Oh! my goodness... This is delightful, so right for this time of the year. thanks for that illustration, really helps for duh! bakers like me.

NikiTheo said...

I have to say, I've never been a fan of meringue, but I would so try the berried topped pavlova.... Looks delicious!

Sippity Sup said...

Soft like a marshmellow! That is what my pavlova attempts have been missing! Is it lack of humidity? Am I baking it too long or too hot? GREG

pigpigscorner said...

Looks so pretty with the fruits!

Ellen Zachos said...

Thanks for this recipe...I was looking for a low-fat/high taste dessert idea for this weekend. One question: It looks like you spooned the batter out onto the parchment paper inside the penciled circle but without the pan. But later you say to remove the meringue from the pan. Is the batter baked inside the pan ring or not? Thanks very much!

mom0608 said...

hi everyone...thanks for your comments! i had a lot of fun making the pavlova 2 different ways. to clarify a couple of things: 1)actually, the more humidity, the harder it is to get the pavlova to rise and stay inflated! 2) ellen, you're very observant! thanks for pointing out the discrepancy. i'll make that change to my recipe. i didn't use a pan at all - just used it to outline with a pencil on parchment paper.

i think the key to making pavlovas is getting to know your oven temperature really well. if you haven't already, test your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. you might find that baking at 250 degrees might work better for you or even as low as 200 or 225 as some other recipes call for it. give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

Smokeydoke said...

That looks great! But it looks too difficult for me. I can't wait to try it at a bakery. Now I've got to track one down in Los Angeles.

Cate O'Malley said...

Love the addition of fruit on top of the pavlova - perfect for Spring!

Anonymous said...

Oh neat! I was JUST trying to think of things to do with a few extra egg whites I have. I wonder if it would work to make a half-recipe...

mom0608 said...

hi my limited baking knowledge, using fresh white eggs at room temperature will be most optimal for the rise of the pavlova. as tempting as it is half the recipe, i'm not sure how it'll turn out as with the "physics" of the ingredients (cream of tartar, cornstarch etc). give it a try and let us know how it turns out! cheers.

Jo said...

Oooh delicious Love the topping of fresh fruits which makes it such a summer dessert.

Carolyn Jung said...

I still remember that lovely pavlova. Sweet, crispy, fruity, and looking like a dreamy cloud. I wish I could have another piece right now.

email2me said...

looks like a healthy dessert to me .... especially with so much fruits on top.

Jun @ IndoChine Kitchen said...

What a great looking dessert! Deserves a five-star treatment.

I have one question, when you baked the meringue, did you leave the oven door slightly open or you shut it completely? My auntie said that it will help the meringue not deflating when completely cooled. I am very curious.

My Taste Heaven said...

This Pavlova is such a wonderful dessert. Like those served at the restaurants in 5 star hotels.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@all - thanks for your comments!

@Soma - that's exactly why I had Felicia take pics of the process. I am a "duh" baker as well and really wanted to know how to make this exceptional dessert.

@NikiTheo - it's not soft like a meringue, but crispy. The berries are so good with it!

@Ellen - I've edited the recipe to hopefully make it more clear. How'd it come out for you?

@Felicia - thanks again for sharing the recipe and for sharing your insight into making it!

@smokeydoke - with the step-by-step instructions, I don't think it's that difficult at all!

@gradually greener - how'd it turn out for you?

@Carolyn - :D

@My Taste Heaven - thanks for the compliments!

mom0608 said...

hi jun...i have seen other recipes that call for baking with the oven door open. i don't have that luxury to try that option unless i want to stay up past midnight when my 2 little ones are asleep! =) perhaps you could give a go and let us know? there seems to be quite a few variables in baking meringues but i think knowing your oven really well as a constant would help creating a delicious base most of the time. hey, if it doesn't turn out (ie, it flops), you have one giant meringue cookie to snack for the rest of the week! (btw, the meringue keeps really well in the fridge in an airtight container...just need to really make sure it's completely cooled and there's not moisture when sealing it.)

Lingzie said...

what a coincidence! i was just looking for pavlova recipes today because i have some leftover egg whites and whip cream and didn't know what to do with them. this is recipe is just perfect!

Anonymous said...

I make something similar using nectarines and/or peaches in the summer with raspberries ... and in the winter with pears, almonds and blueberries. Particularly pretty if you tint the whipped cream with a little fruit juice ....

Emily said...

This looks awesome. I've made cookies similar to this before, but have never heard of this. I just bought a bunch of different kinds of berries at the grocery store, so I'll definitely be trying this soon!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Lingzie - how'd it turn out for you?

@Anonymous - Pavlovas are good any time of the year, yeah?

@Emily - great! Let us know how you like it!

Srivalli said...

wow thats so awesome..thanks for the lovely entry!

Ellen Zachos said...

Hi Annie and Nate, I wish you the very best with your move to Malaysia. I'm sure that being together as a family will make the experience wonderful and interesting, albeit unexpected!

Just wanted to let you know that I finally made the meringue for the 4th of July. Of course I had to make a red, white, and blue dessert so I made the meringue, topped with whipped cream, then drizzled a half pint of wild blueberries I'd canned last year in their own juices. I served this with strawberry sorbet (berries from that morning's farmer's market).

It was terrific and everyone loved it. Thanks so much for the recipe, and bon voyage!

Lil' ol' me said...

Pavlova's origin is more contentious than your blog suggests. As an Australian I am sure it was created in Perth, on the occasion of Anna Pavlova's visit. New Zealanders claim that it was first recorded in NZ some years earlier.

Fimail said...

Hi there,

This is a VERY popular and commonly made dessert in Australia. The outside should be crunchy and hard but there should be plenty of inner which is firm but quite similar in consistency to pana cotta or mousse.

Merangues are chewy - not similar at all.

Anonymous said...

In New Zealand our pavlovas are NEVER brown like the one pictured - bake it for 1hr 15minutes - I won't use this recipe though because my pavlovas are crisp on the outside and extraordinarily light on the advice would be to ditch this recipe and find another!-Kiwi girl.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

kiwigirl--if you have a better recipe, do share it. Ours might not meet your standards but I must say it tasted wonderful nevertheless.

almadenmike said...

Nate-n-Annie -- In 1986 I vacationed in New Zealand, staying in family homes. One of my hosts served me a luscious Pavlova (with passion fruit from her yard) and gave me the recipe. I won't have access to it until our remodel is complete and we can unpack our stuff from storage, but I remember that the meringue was cooked overnight in a closed warm oven with the heat turned off. I wonder if that's how kiwigirl makes hers.

-- Mike in San Jose