Pavlova with fresh berries and lofty whipped cream. A light and airy dessert perfect for celebrations and gatherings. With a little planning ahead, this is easier than you may think! Allow 2 hours “cooling time”. Includes a video.
- 4 large eggs- at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar, fine (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1 teaspoon of vinegar – see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional- it will darken the pavlova a little)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar (your choice here on sweetness, add more if you like)
- lemon zest or Meyer lemon zest is lovely but optional
- 1 tablespoon berry jam (or lemon curd)
- 1 pint of fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, currants, whatever you fancy!)
- Set oven to 350F. Draw an 8-9′ circle on a piece of parchment. Flip the parchment so the writing is on the underside against the tray. Or just skip this and eyeball it.
- Separate the eggs. Cold eggs separate better and room-temperature egg whites whip better. Separating the eggs while cold helps avoid yolk leaking into the whites. Let the whites come to room temperate once they are in a bowl. Speed this up by setting the bowl of whites over another bowl of warm water, creating a kind of double boiler effect. (The egg yolks will not be used here and can be saved for another recipe.)
- Whip the whites. In a stand mixer with an ultra-clean and dry bowl, pour in egg whites and start whipping on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar. (If substituting vinegar add later with the vanilla.) Beat whites on medium-high until soft peaks form.
- Start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time, letting them whisk in between each addition until all the sugar has been spooned in. Switch the mixer a couple more notches higher and beat until glossy and stiff. Test the whites by rubbing a little between your thumb and finger, making sure the sugar has dissolved and there is no grittiness, whip a little longer if needed until the meringue is smooth.
- Once the peaks are stiff, add the pinch of salt and vanilla and whip in for another 30 seconds. Make sure it is stiff! If not, beat more, checking after each minute for stiff peaks.
- Shape the Pavlova. Very gently, scoop the stiff egg white mixture out onto the parchment. With a cake knife spread in a circle working from the center, building a bit of an outside edge and an indent in the center. Smooth up the sides.
- Bake. Place in the center of the 350F preheated oven. Turn the oven down to 200F and bake for 120 minutes or until it feels dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or overnight. Cooling slowly keeps the pavlova sturdy and crisp.
- For the whip cream. Whip together the cream, sugar and zest to medium-soft peaks. Fold in a tablespoon of jam, if desired.
- Assemble just before serving. Top the pavlova with whip cream and fresh berries! You can macerate the berries with a little sweetener to make them juicy if desired. Serve immediately!
Some pavlovas do include cornstarch to create a more marshmallow like center. We didn’t love the hint of chalky texture and found it melt in your mouth delicious as is. Should you choose to add it in: 1 teaspoon cornstarch sifted into the last tablespoon of sugar that you are adding to the whipping whites.
To make individual sized pavlova: Either spoon out a 2 inch diameter round ( make a well in the center, like a little “nest”) or fill a piping bag with the egg white mixture and pipe out 2-3-inch rounds. (You can also make these bigger, but will need to bake them longer. ) They will rise and spread a bit, so leave room around them.
Allow 2 hours of cooling time. Can be made a day or two before and stored in an airtight container.
Feel free to make the pavlovas ahead and store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Do not refrigerate.
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 120
- Sugar: 25.6 g
- Sodium: 26.5 mg
- Fat: 4.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
- Fiber: 0.7 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 13.6 mg