Recipe: Pavlova


02 Sep Recipe: Pavlova

Individual Pavolvas are an easy way to enjoy summer fruit -

If you asked me to describe my father’s taste in desserts, I’d tell you he’s a lemon man. When he turned 65, Mom and I baked 13 lemon meringue pies for his party. He squeezes fresh lemon juice into his tea and sometimes even orders lemon pie as an appetizer when we dine out. He likes things tart, not sweet, choosing citrus over chocolate any day. Based on his dining history, pavlova is not something he would like.

I was so sure of this that when my mother asked for pavlova for her birthday dessert, I made a peach galette as well — just for Dad. Turns out Dad loves pavlova. Almost as much as he loves lemon.

You learn something new every day.

So, for the closet pavlova fans out there — and even for those who like to flaunt their love of this powder-puff dessert – here’s the recipe. It has a little lemon in it to cut the sweet.

Hey, maybe that’s why Dad likes it…

Recipe type: Dessert
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
For those who struggle with meringue, be sure you get absolutely NO egg yolk, shell or fat in the bowl. If you're using a stand mixer that lives out on your counter, wash and thoroughly dry the bowl and whipping attachment before embarking on this dessert. Believe me, if so much as one speck of bacon grease has wafted across the room and taken roost in your mixing bowl, your egg whites won't whip. Oh yes, and don't even think about doing this on a humid day. Other than that? It's an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert.
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup superfine sugar*
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
  • rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1 cup cream (35%), chilled then whipped
  • fresh fruit of your choice
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form. While continuing to whip constantly, add the sugar
  4. one tablespoon at a time . Resist the urge to rush this process. It takes 2 to 3 minutes but is crucial. When the egg whites are stiff and glossy whip in the vanilla and lemon rind.
  5. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the parchment, forming 6 to 8 individual pavlovas about 4-inches across. Bake for 90 minutes or until crisp on the outside but still slightly soft inside. Do not brown. When they are done, leave the meringues in the oven to cool for an hour or two with the door slightly ajar.
  6. Serve the cooled pavlovas with a generous dollop of whipped cream (do not sweeten this since the meringues are sweet enough) topped with fresh fruit of your choice.
If you don't have superfine sugar, just put the required amount of granulated sugar in a blender and grind it to a powder. It'll work just fine in this recipe.

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No Comments
  • Vanessa
    Posted at 10:12h, 02 September Reply

    I am so happy you posted this. I love pavlova and thought it was especially brilliant that you put the roasted strawberries on it. I can’t wait to try this. On a side note, I am delighted to have Christie’s Corner popping back into my inbox.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:32h, 02 September Reply

      Delighted to be back, Vanessa.

      I must confess, pavlova wasn’t my favourite dessert, but the lemon rind cuts the sweetness. I think I’ve made variations of this about three times lately. And they say old dogs can’t learn new tricks!

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 18:20h, 02 September Reply

    Before anything else – WELCOME BACK!!! I missed you blogging.
    Now you have gone and done it, and will need to bring pavlova and lemon pie and lemon squares to every family meal. This is a winning plan!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 19:11h, 02 September Reply

      Thanks for the warm welcome back. As for your family meal plan? Doesn’t seem to be a balanced diet. There’s a distinct lack of chocolate.

  • Jacqui
    Posted at 00:06h, 03 September Reply

    CC is back! What a lovely pic.
    Nice one :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:12h, 03 September Reply

      Yes, I’m back. And very happy to be so.

      Oh, the irony. I snapped that shot on the fly as the dessert was making its way to someone’s place. I can spend ages setting up shots and they don’t turn out, but walk by with dessert in the garden and — bingo! Oh well, can’t complain. Got dessert and a nice visual memory of it.

  • Chef Sherlock
    Posted at 22:23h, 03 September Reply

    Pavlova gets me down. It’s always a soggy mess when I make it since I tend to make it during the steamiest months of the year. I want it to be crisp. Or soft like Blanc Mange….inbetween is always what I get though.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:20h, 04 September Reply

      No matter how meticulous you are with the technique, meringues simply refuse to cooperate in humid weather.

      If you get a reasonably dry day, try making them small. The higher edge-to-middle ratio might help. And be sure to be very patient adding the superfine sugar. Don’t rush it. (And you do use superfine sugar, don’t you? If you don’t have any on hand, just put plain old white sugar in the blender and puree until it’s a powder).

      Good luck with your next batch! They are worth the effort!

  • Baking is my Zen
    Posted at 13:13h, 06 September Reply

    When I first had pavlovas, I was surprised how delicious it was…and so easy!


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:45h, 06 September Reply

      Yes! They’re surprisingly easy. Thanks for backing me up on this point. I think people shy away from meringues because of all the warnings (no yolk, no shell, no humidity!)
      They’re actually so easy it’s almost embarrassing.

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