What is a Pavlova? It’s a sweet cloud of deliciousness! Actually it’s a meringue based dessert that’s named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It’s lightly crispy on the outside and light and marshmallowy on the inside. It’s usually served topped with fruit and cream.
Pavlovas can be a cake like dessert or they can be individual shells filled with cream that’s topped with fresh or preserved fruits. I love meringues and Pavlovas are one of my favorites. It’s one of the desserts I always choose when we’re on a cruise.
Most folks think Pavlovas are for company desserts, yes, they’re that impressive. But really Pavlovas a pretty easy to make. I usually make them after I’ve made my grandmother’s flan which uses up a lot of egg yolks. Pavlovas handily use the remaining egg whites. Other than egg whites all you need is sugar, preferably caster or baker’s sugar (it’s super fine sugar that is between regular sugar and powdered sugar), cream or tartar, cornstarch, and vanilla. You probably have all those things already. (If you don’t have caster sugar you can either pick some up at the grocery store’s baking aisle or place regular granulated sugar in your blender and pulse until the crystals turn into a fine grains, sort of like sand, but not powdery.)
You’ll also want to use your standing mixer with a whisk attachment. You can also use a hand held mixer. You’ll need parchment paper to line your baking sheets, and a piping tip and bag if you have one. Otherwise you can spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper for baking.
For my Strawberries and Cream Pavlovas I make individual shells that I fill with the mascarpone cream I make and top with Riesling Marinated Strawberries. Click here for the Riesling Marinated Strawberries recipe!
Here’s how to make these delicious Pavlovas. Your family and friends will be impressed!
4 Egg Whites
1 Cup Caster Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 1/2 Tsp. Cornstarch
2 Tsp. Vanilla
8 Oz. Container of Mascarpone Cheese
1 Cup Cold Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
Gradually add caster sugar and cream of tartar. Continue beating at high speed.
Add cornstarch and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Pipe or spoon meringue on to the parchment paper. If piping start with a small circle for the base then pipe coils of meringue on top of it. If spooning meringue drop them on the sheet and use the back of the spoon to make a shallow indentation in the middle. (I usually drop meringue Kisses with any leftover meringue. I use them to top the strawberries)
Place on sheet in the oven and IMMEDIATELY lower temperature to 245 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 200 degrees and back until the meringue is dry to the touch. Touch carefully as they are fragile.
Turn off the oven and open door halfway. Leave meringues inside to cool down to prevent them from cracking.
Meanwhile whip mascarpone, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When meringues are cooled fill the wells of each meringue with cold cream mixture. Top with Riesling Marinated Strawberries. If you have a meringue kiss place one on top to decorate the pavlova, you can also add a fresh mint leaf if you like.