What Is Pavlova?
Pavlova is a baked meringue dessert that is made from sweetened egg whites slowly baked at a low temperature that is finished with whipped cream and fruit. The low temperature and slow baking time creates a chewy-crisp texture on the exterior, with a soft, marshmallowy center. The finished pavlova is topped with whipped cream and can be dressed with fresh fruit or lemon curd.
Where Did Pavlova Originate?
Pavlova is popular in New Zealand and Australia, where it is said to have originally been created by chefs for Anna Pavlova in 1926, a famous Russian ballerina that was touring throughout the two countries at the time. There is still a great debate between which country invented it first.
Perfect Mixed Berry Pavlova Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time1 hr 50 min
Cook Time1 hr 30 min
This elegant marshmallow-like dessert only uses 5 ingredients and is surprisingly simple to make. It’s light and naturally gluten-free, a sure way to impress guests at Easter or any other festive occasion. If it’s your first time making pavlova, make sure to let it cool all the way down inside the oven before removing. To get a spectacular voluminous meringue, make sure to start with room temperature eggs. Learn more about making meringue in our guide here.
- 4 large egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup freshly whipped cream
- Assorted fresh fruits such as berries, currants, kiwifruit, and passionfruit
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Using an electric stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3–4 minutes. Add half of the sugar, beat for 10 seconds, then add the remaining sugar and pinch of salt. Increase to high speed and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2–3 more minutes. The peaks should be stiff enough to hold shape on the whisk. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and fold in the cream of tartar and cornstarch.
- Using a spatula, spread the pavlova mixture into an 8-inch circle onto the parchment lined baking pan. Leave a shallow dip in the center for your fillings.
- Place pavlova into the oven and reduce the heat to 200 degrees F. Let the pavlova bake until the exterior is crisp and dry, about 1 ½ hours. Try to keep the oven door closed to keep the temperature steady.
- Turn off the oven and let pavlova cool inside. Pavlova can be baked ahead, cooled and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Once it has cooled, place on a serving plate and top with whipped cream and fruit.
Cook’s Note: When making meringue, make sure your bowl is clean and dried thoroughly. Any excess moisture in the bowl may prevent the egg whites from whipping into that fluffy, voluminous texture you’re aiming for.
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