Today I bring to you one of my absolute favorite desserts of all time: fruit pavlova! It’s so incredibly easy to make, but also so elegant and lovely and wonderfully bright.
According to the copious fountain of information that is Wikipedia, pavlova is named after the prima ballerina Anna Pavlova and her charming visit to the land down under. And while New Zealand and Australia are still working out their custody agreement concerning which country exactly first invented the delightful concoction, regardless of who made it first, pavlova is practically perfect in every way.
For a twist on my version of pavlova, add a dollop of fruit curd or jam to each meringue nest for extra fruitiness. (But to be honest, you probably don’t need the added sugar – the meringues are plenty sweet!)
Or, for a larger dish for a crowd, you can easily double the recipe and pipe out one giant nest instead of 8 little ones – just make sure to make extra whipped cream since the filling-to-meringue ratio will increase as the circle gets bigger! The baking time should be around 1 hour if you go this route, but may take longer or shorter, so a better bet would be to check periodically for whether the meringue has fully dried. After the half hour mark, opening the oven shouldn’t make a difference to the final product!
Whether you go with adorable individual portions or a marvelous centerpiece, hope you enjoy!
Makes 4 pavlovas
2 large egg whites
120 g powdered sugar
Lemon Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs powdered sugar
Assortment of diced fruit (I used 4 strawberries, 1 kiwi, and about 1/2 mango!)
Jam or jelly, strained to remove large chunks and seeds (I used huckleberry!)
- Preheat your oven to 250 ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites just until the mixture is opaque.
- Add the powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating until powdered sugar is fully dissolved in between each addition.
- Continue beating until the mixture is glossy, firm, and any peaks that form when the beaters are lifted out only gently bend over or don’t bend over at all. You should be able to invert the bowl without spilling or moving.
- Transfer the whipped meringue into a piping bag with a large piping tip of any shape.
- Pipe a small filled circle of meringue about 2 1/2 to 3″ in diameter by swirling from the inside outward, then start piping up along the outside edge of the circle to form a hollow nest about 1 to 1 1/2″ tall. Repeat until you are out of meringue.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the meringues are dry and fully hardened.
- Set aside to cool!
Lemon Whipped Cream:
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until firm peaks form. At this point, when you lift out the whisk, peaks will form but will gently curl over at the point. Set aside for assembly!
- Using a small spoon, drizzle a swizzle of jam across the center of your plate.
- Place a meringue nest in the upper center of the design.
- If necessary, use a small spoon to slightly enlarge the hole in the middle of your nest by gently chipping away at the hardened inner edge of the meringue.
- Fill each nest with whipped cream, allowing the cream to spill out of the top of the nest.
- Top with fruit and enjoy!