Mixed Berry Pavlova
*Recipe originally posted in April 2012, new version posted with updated photos and recipe notes!
Until recently, Pavlova was a dessert I didn’t really understand. I’d seen them popping up here and there, but it never really appealed to me. Since the outside looks so hard and crunchy, I just assumed it would be dense and dry and crumbly. Then, a few days ago, I tried my first bite of one and I was in dessert heaven. I had never in my life tasted such a light and fluffy dessert. It’s airy and not too sweet and honest to goodness melts right in your mouth. The meringue gets crisp on the outside, but stays marshmallow-y on the inside, giving it the fluffy, light as air texture.
In doing research on recipes, I found out that it’s a famous Australian dessert named after the legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova. They are often topped with kiwi fruit, but I thought simple fresh berries sounded perfect. (I’ve also seen many versions that topped it with passion fruit pulp- which sounds kinda amazing.) The options are endless and I know
this one will keep coming back in the warmer months! It’s perfect for a hot weather BBQ or picnic where you want something light and refreshing.
I actually made a couple versions of Pavlova before I got the method down for making it well. (Don’t worry- I ate all the rejected ones too!) Here are some tips that I gathered:
1-If you can find superfine sugar, it’s my favorite type to use, but I’ve had success with granulated sugar or powdered sugar too.
2-Like all egg-white recipes, a drop of yolk or oil in the bowl will ruin it- so be careful separating your eggs.
3-After the Pavlova finishes baking, leave the oven ajar and let it cool right there. The slow cooling process prevents it from collapsing.
4-This dessert is so light that it’s easy to accidentally eat the whole thing (may have happened to me…)
Mixed Berry Pavlova
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup superfine sugar*
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp corn starch
- 1 cup whipping cream
- mixed berries or other fruit
- Preheat the oven to 275F and place the rack in middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment and draw a 7 inch circle with pencil and then flip the parchment over so the pencil side is down. Set aside.
- In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with a clean electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form soft peaks.
- Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, one teaspoon at a time. Continue to beat the egg whites while adding all the sugar. Your egg whites should now be thick and glossy with stiff peaks. Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla and gently fold the mixture again.
- Now gently spread the meringue in the circle on the parchment to make a circular base. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center so you have a very small well in the middle.
- Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it goes a pale, pinkish egg shell color. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringue cool completely. As the meringue cools, it will crack slightly.
- Just before serving, take the meringue out of the oven and remove it gently from the parchment and place on a plate. (You can also cover and refrigerate the meringue base until you're ready to serve it.)
- Whip the cream until it forms peaks. Gently spread the cream to the top of the meringue with a spatula and arrange the fruit on top. Slice and enjoy!
*If you can't find superfine sugar regular granulated or powdered sugar will work. Recipe adapted from Australian Food
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
That looks so gorgeous :) I love meringue!
I’m loving all of the delicious fresh fruit on top!
I adore pavlova! You’re right about it being a bit misleading. The first time I tried it was about 15 years ago on a trip to Australia. I assumed it would be more like a schaum torte through and through, but was so pleasantly surprised. I didn’t see it again for years…but you’re right…it is suddenly popping up everywhere! Yours looks absolutely stunning!
I have wanted to try a pavlova for years now! You’ve motivated me to finally try. And this recipe looks awesome! :)
Beautiful! I’ve been wanting to make one for a long time… thanks for the inspiration :)
I haven’t even tried pavlova! This sounds lovely though.
Thanks for the tips, Audra. This looks incredible. I’ve never made pavlova but definitely need to try it out. Yours is beautiful!
My mother (from New Zealand) makes her Pavlova topped with Kiwi fruit.
Yours looks really yummy too! I love seeing what you’ll post next!
I’ve been making pavs for close to 35 years now, and have never made a small well in the centre. I do, however, use the side of a spatula to lift peaks over the meringue before baking to maximise crunchy bits. Your pav looks yummy, but a bit overdone for Australian tastes, we don’t cook them quite as crispy as that. :)
This looks great and something I can eat without feeling guilty.
Thanks Tracey- I’m sure you are a pavlova pro so I appreciate the feedback. I think my oven runs a little hot- so next time I’ll probably bake it less. The first time when did bake it less- it fell apart when I tried to transfer it to a cake stand..I guess I have to keep practicing :)
This looks GORGEOUS! And semi-healthy? Yep, I am totally rationalizing that last one :)
This look so good!!! I love Pavlova!!!
Wow. This pavlova looks amazing- so light and fluffy. I don’t blame you for “may have” eaten the entire thing. It looks too good not to.
Pavlova is on my list of things to try and make myself. Such a great summer dessert with berries. And thanks for alerting me to tip #4 about accidentally eating the whole thing by yourself. I’ll make sure I’m alone in the house in case such a thing should happen. :)
Berry Pavlova is whispering spring in it’s soft gentle meringue clouds and lovely spring berries, just delightful!
Yours is the first pavlova I’ve ever seen that really does appeal to me! It looks delicious, and so airy and light. Lovely spring dessert, Audra! I can say with a lot of certainty that I’d love to try this for myself!
Ah yes. The great thing about practicing is, practice makes perfect, and results in lots of yummy pavs to eat. Pav has been my favourite dessert since I was a child. My favourite topping is lots of cream with banana, kiwi fruit and strawberries, smothered in fresh passionfruit., (There’s something not quite right about tinned passionfruit, lol).
They are a bit delicate by nature, that’s why we smother them with cream and fruit. There is also the problem of passing fingers stealing the crunchy bits before it’s topped.
I always add a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites to make them really stiff before I add the sugar.
Good luck on your pavlova perfection quest,
Hmmm…..me thinks me must make a pav today ;)
Mmmm, I love a good berry and cream filled meringue :) Looks fantastic!
So beautiful!!! We love pavlova…and I can’t wait to make this when the local berries are ripe :)
I haven’t made pavlova, nor have I even tried it, but I am so curious because it looks so yummy! Especially with all those berries on top!
Wow this looks amazing..
Hey, I’m an Australian and my Nanna’s famous pavlova recipe is super easy. She passionately believes you don’t need vinegar and cornflour. This was her recipe:
For every 4 egg whites you need 1 cup of super fine white sugar.
Whisk together to make the meringue.
Crank up oven to 180 (Celsius) and then as soon as you put the pav in, reduce the temp to 100 and cook for 1.5 hours. DON’T open the oven door until the pav is completely cooled.
Our fav family topping is mango, kiwi and passionfruit.
YUM! I feel like pav now. Yours looks delicious by the way!
Luckily in Queensland, Aust it’s always warm enough to justify a pav!
This photo is absolutely beautiful. This looks so amazing!
Oh this looks incredible!! It’s taking me back to my year in Australia after college where it seemed like every sweet Australian who hosted me presented this beautiful, delicate, delicious dessert. Thank you for posting this.
Hi, the instructions mention adding vanilla, how much are you supposed to add? Hope you’re enjoying Chicago!