Hi! I’m writing to you from a world of homework and school and stress but it’s OKAY because I’m off from school this Friday for Passover, which means in just a few days I’ll be eating yummy food like matzoh ball soup and brisket and desserts like this gorgeous pavlova. Actually, I’ll probably be eating a chocolate torte because my brother is a chocolate fiend with a strong aversion to berries, fruit and anything that even loosely resembles healthy food. But the point is that I could be eating this pavlova because it just so happens to be flour-free (which is a must on Passover!)
In case you were wondering, a pavlova is pretty much a massive meringue that’s crsip on the outside and marshmallow-y on the inside. This then gets topped with some softly whipped cream and tons of macerated berries before being devoured in a matter of seconds. It’s such a light dessert that I could honestly eat the whole thing if given the chance.
I’d never tasted a pavlova before making this one, but I’d have to say it’s quickly made its way up the rankings to become one of my favorite desserts. I’ve always been a sucker for a simple bowl of fresh berries and vanilla ice cream, and those flavors are all encapsulated here.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect last-minute Passover dessert or just browsing through the web, make sure to include this super easy recipe in your weekend plans!
To make the meringue, you’ll start by beating 4 egg whites in a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks, like this.
Next, continue to beat the whites while you add in some sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat this on high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks. The peaks should stand straight up even when you lift the whisk out of the bowl and turn it upside down.
Now just add in some vanilla, then fold in a bit of white vinegar and cornstarch.
Plop the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment that you’ve drawn a 7″ circle on. The circle should be on the side facing the pan so as not to get any ink or graphite in your meringue. I used a Silpat instead of parchment by drawing a circle on a piece of paper, placing the paper under the Silpat, then removing the paper before baking.
Spread the meringue inside the circle, making the edges a bit higher than the middle.
Bake the meringue at 250 F for 60-75 minutes, or until it’s dry and crisp on the outside and a pale cream color. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven with the door cracked until it’s cooled completely.
Meanwhile, toss some berries with a bit of sugar and set aside. Whip some cream until soft peaks form and fold in some vanilla and sugar.
When the meringue is cooled, transfer it to a serving platter or stand and spoon on the whipped cream.
Spread the cream out a bit…
Then top with the berries!
You can make mini pavlovas with any leftover meringue!
Mixed Berry Pavlova
Makes 1 7-inch pavlova
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup superfine (castor) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 2 cups fresh berries (I used strawberries,, blueberries and raspberries)
- Preheat the oven to 250 F. Draw a 7-inch circle on the back of a piece of parchment and place circle-side down on a baking sheet, so that the pen or pencil markings won’t touch the pavlova itself. Alternatively, you can draw your circle on a piece of paper and place it on the sheet, then place a Silpat on top. If you choose to do this, remove the paper from under the Silpat after you spoon the pavlova onto the sheet.
- In the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they hold soft peaks. Continue to beat on high speed and gradually add the superfine sugar a tablespoon at a time until very stiff, shiny peaks form. The meringue should hold its shape if you lift the whisk out of the bowl and turn it upside down.
- Beat in the vanilla, then fold in the cornstarch and vinegar.
- Spread the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, using the circle as a guide. Make sure to make the edges a bit higher than the middle.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until it’s dry and crisp on the outside and a pale cream color. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven with the door cracked until it’s cooled completely.
- Meanwhile, toss the berries with 1 teaspoon of sugar and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
- Just before you’re ready to assemble, whip the cream until soft peaks form and fold in the vanilla and sugar.
- When the meringue is cooled, transfer it to a serving platter or stand and spoon on the whipped cream. Top with macerated berries and enjoy as soon as possible! Pavlovas really are best when eaten the same say they are made.