What’s soft in the centre, crunchy on the edges and topped with colourful fruit? The perfect light summer meringue dessert, the Australian Pavlova.
It only takes a handful of ingredients, whipped cream and some fresh fruit to create the perfect light summer dessert. The fruit should be a combination of sweet and tart flavours for best results.
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Pavlova is named in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) who toured both Australia and New Zealand back in the late 1920s. She was an amazing dancer who inspired and thrilled people everywhere.
Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova,
the greatest ballerina of her day
Who created the first Pavlova?
Aussies & New Zealanders both claim that honour. However, there are no clear records that give the exact date it was created. And we’re sticking to that story!
You can buy the Pavlova base in Australia at grocery stores and add the finishing touches. The complete Pavlova is sold as well if don’t want to make it yourself.
- Is the meringue ready?
Rub a little meringue between your fingers. If it feels gritty, the sugar is not completely dissolved. Continue beating.
- If you like more fruit than meringue, make the centre of the base slightly bowl shaped instead of flat before you bake it so it holds more topping later.
- Yolks will separate more easily when the eggs are cold. So keep them in the refrigerator until needed.
- Egg whites will whip up better at room temperature, so allow the egg white time to warm up.
Who invented it … Aussie or Kiwi ?
We only care that it tastes good!
Ingredients for Base
| || as needed ||butter, melted |
| || dusting ||corn flour (cornstarch) |
|6 || ||eggs, separated |
|280 || grams (1¼ cups) ||sugar, caster (sugar, granulated) |
|½ || teaspoon ||vanilla essence (vanilla extract) |
|2 || teaspoons ||corn flour (cornstarch) |
|1 || teaspoon ||white vinegar |
Method for Base
|1. ||Preheat your oven to 120°C ( 250°F ). Line an oven tray or flat pan with foil or baking paper (wax paper). Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour. Shake off the excess. |
|2. ||Take a spoon and gently mark out a 23cm ( 9 inch) diameter circle in the dusted cornflour. This is the guide you will follow when you put the meringue on the pan. (see tip below) |
|3. ||Use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl (see tip below) until soft peaks form. |
|4. ||Very slowly add sugar |
(about 1 tablespoon at a time) beating well as you go.
Continue until all the sugar is fully dissolved (see tip below) and the meringue is thick and glossy.
|5. ||Now add vanilla, cornflour and vinegar to your meringue. Beat only until these new ingredients are mixed in thoroughly. |
|6. ||Spoon the meringue into the circle you marked on the foil lined pan. Using a small spatula, smooth the side and top of the Pavlova base and make little peaks around the top edge. |
|7. ||Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until it feels dry to the touch. |
|8. ||Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar with the Pavlova base still inside to cool down slowly. |
|9. ||When the base is completely cold, move it to a serving plate. You can also store it in an airtight container to complete later as needed. |
Ingredients for Top
|300 || ml (1¼ cups) ||whipping cream (heavy cream) |
|2 || tablespoons ||icing sugar, sifted |
|1 || ||lime, juiced |
|2 || ||bananas, sliced thin on an angle |
|3 || ||kiwi fruit, peeled, thinly sliced |
|2 || ||star fruit, thinly sliced |
Method for Top
|1. ||Use an electric mixer to whip the cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl. Whip until it forms firm peaks. |
|2. ||Spoon the whipped cream on the top of the base. |
|3. ||Pour the lime juice into a glass or ceramic bowl and add the banana slides. Toss to coat and then drain. |
|4. ||Decorate the top of the base with the fruit. |
Serves 6 to 10 depending on how big you cut the slices.
Leftover Pavlova can be stored in the refrigerator overnight, however, it can absorb moisture from the air causing it to lose its crunchy crispness. You can use this as an excuse to finish off that last piece sitting there!
We hope you enjoy our recipe!
- Always wash and thoroughly dry the bowl you will beat the egg white in to remove any grease. Otherwise you may have problems beating the egg whites.
- An easy way to mark out the circle is to use a plate that’s approximately the size circle you want. Turn a plate upside-down on the foil covered pan and using a spoon draw around it.
Remove the plate and Bob’s your uncle!
Note to our overseas friends … a kiwi is a person from New Zealand. If you mean the food, please call it kiwi fruit, not just kiwi. It’s rather like thinking (out loud) that a person is American when they’re really Canadian. You’ll get some frosty stares if you do.