If you have never had fresh berry pavlova you are in for a treat. The range of textures and flavors make it a favorite for many people. The baking method results in a light and crispy crust enveloping a soft marshmallowy center. Top that off with whipped cream and fresh berries for an ‘out of this world’ dessert. The raspberry sauce adds a bit of tartness that helps balance the sweetness of the meringue.
Pavlova is named after the famed Russian ballerina. As the story goes, in 1926 the dancer toured Australia and New Zealand. This was a monumental event for those times. The dessert was invented to honor her light and airy dance. There is still debate over which country developed it first.
FRESH BERRY PAVLOVA
yields 6 servings
Before you start:
This is easier than you think. Armed with the right tools and a little bit of knowledge your fresh berry pavlova attempt will be well rewarded.
Any oils in the bowl can have a negative impact on your meringue. Make sure your bowl is very clean.
Your pavlova will likely crack. Don’tpanic. It is expected.
Adding the sugar to the egg whites will weigh it down a bit. You may begin to think that the egg whites won’t stiffen up again. Be patient. Just about the time you are ready to give up, it will happen.
Either buy superfine sugar or run granulated sugar through your food processor for 20-30 seconds. This will make it easier for it to dissolve in the egg whites.
Use two baking sheets together to make sure the bottom does not cook too quickly. It works perfectly every time.
Do not assemble this until just before serving. The weight of the cream and berries can flatten the soft center of the meringue over time.
To see the pavlova being made, check out this video we created. It includes some chalkboard art to showcase the final product. See below:
For the meringue base:
- 4 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1¼ cups superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 3 cups fresh raspberries, divided
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
For the meringue base:
- Separate egg whites into a very clean stainless steel bowl (or standmixer bowl). Allow them to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
- Use a plate to draw six 4-inch circles on a parchment sheet. Turn the parchment sheet over on a baking sheet. You should still be able to see the circles through the paper.
- On medium-high to high speed, whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Begin mixing in sugar but only a tablespoonful at a time. Mix until shiny stiff peaks form.
- Evenly distribute cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla over the egg mixture. Fold in gently.
- Divide the batter evenly between the circles you drew on the parchment paper. Make a bit of a depression in the middle of each mound. It will rise during baking and then sink at cooling. However, this little dip will serve as a “bowl” for the cream and fruit. Lightly run a rubber spatula around the outside of each mound to make it smooth.
- Place the tray in the oven on the middle most rack. Turn the oven down to 300 ̊F. Bake for 30 to 40min. Check at 30 mins with a clean toothpick test. When toothpick is almost completely clean (there maybe a little moisture) turn off the oven and open the door. Allow the meringues to finish cooking/cooling here until completely cool.
For the topping:
- Place 1½ cups of raspberries, reserving the remainder for later, in a blender and blitz to purée. Strain off solids by pressing through a fine mesh strainer with a rubber spatula. Add the strained purée to a small sauce pan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat,stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Cool before serving.
- Place the whipping cream and confectioners sugar in a bowl. Whip on medium-high to high speed until thick but not stiff.
- When you are ready to serve, divide the whipped cream among the meringue bases, making sure to take it to the edges with little pillows of cream.
- Distribute raspberries evenly over the desserts first and then fill in spaces with blueberries. Drizzle each with raspberry sauce just before serving your fresh berry pavlova.