When you need an eye-catching dessert, look no further than this traditional Pavlova recipe! With a crisp, meringue base and pretty spring berries, it’s also a fantastic dessert to serve on Easter.
FUN FACT: This dessert was named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The recipe was created in honor of the dancer during one of her tours to Australia/New Zealand in the 1920’s and has been a traditional celebratory dish in those countries ever since.
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup super-fine sugar (or regular granulated sugar pulsed several times in a food processor)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. If desired, use a plate to draw an outline of a circle (see below) on the “wrong” side of the parchment paper (the side that faces down on the baking sheet.).
Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add in the sugar and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form another 2-3 minutes. To test, hold the whisk upright. The peaks should not move. Add vanilla extract and beat for 1 more minute. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cream of tartar, cornstarch, and white vinegar.
Spread the egg white mixture into an 8-inch circle on the parchment paper. If you prefer, you can make smaller, individual Pavlova’s using circles about 3-inches in diameter. The edges of the circle should be higher than the center portion.
Place the Pavlova in the oven and reduce the heat to 200°F. Bake until the Pavlova is firm and dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off and let the Pavlova cool inside the oven.
Once the pavlova is cool, it will store tightly covered at room temperature for 2 days. When you are ready to serve, top the Pavlova with either whipped cream or lemon curd and then decorate with an assortment of fresh fruit. DO NOT top with whipped cream and fruit until you are almost ready to serve!
Fresh Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip all ingredients on medium-high speed until soft to moderate peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. For best results, make sure the cream, mixing bowl, and whisk are all cold when you begin. Cover and chill until you are ready to use.
Fresh Lemon Curd
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Fill the bottom pot of a double boiler with 1-2 inches of water. Place on high heat. Once the water begins to boil, reduce to low heat to keep the water at a simmer.
Put egg yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt into the top pot of the double boiler. Using a whisk, blend completely, then continue to whisk as the curd cooks. After about 10 minutes, the mixture should be thicker (like hollandaise sauce), if not, turn up the temperature slightly and continue to whisk.
Remove pan from heat. Cut the butter into 6 pieces and whisk into the curd until smooth. Pour curd into a bowl and cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
Once cool, the plastic wrap can be removed. The finished curd will keep in the refrigerator for a week.
Until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish and satisfying life!