Sep 22, 2012


This meringue-based delicious dessert was first created in the 1920's in honor of the famous Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. She was touring Australia and New Zealand at the time and a resourceful chef came up with a sweet but airy-light dessert. Both countries claim to be the birthplace of the recipe. Either way, it is a favorite in our family!

The original recipe calls for cornstarch. I am not a fan of cornstarch, so I simply left it out. It still turned out crispy on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside.

Pavlova (serves 10) - baking time is long, make sure you plan to make it ahead!

8 egg whites 
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
2 pinches of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
(1 Tbsp cornstarch)

1/2- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
sliced strawberries (or your choice of fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 250 Farenheit. Line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper. 

2. In a bowl, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. (picture #1)
Add 1/2 c of sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the sugar by 2-3 Tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will be stiff. Add vanilla and vinegar (and cornstarch if you really must), mix in. You will notice how the meringue changed and it becomes glossy and smooth. (Picture #2)

Sorry for the bad pictures, the kitchen does not have good lighting.

3. Spoon the mixture in the prepared baking dish. If you are using a baking sheet covered with wax paper, spoon meringue onto the wax paper and form it into a circle or oval, but do not spread it out. It should be a couple of inches thick at least. (You can also spread the edges a bit higher, with a slight well in the center for the whipped cream.) Bake for 90 minutes, turn off the oven but leave the meringue to cool off in there. You can leave the oven door open slightly.

4. Whip the cream. (Picture #3). Do NOT add sugar or anything. Trust me. The meringue is very sweet. Please do not use Ready Whip! Seriously, if you have never tried fresh whipped cream, you are missing out.

5. Wash and slice the fruit. Once the meringue is cooled off (picture #4), and you are ready to serve dessert, spread whipped cream on top and arrange the fruit on top. Cut and serve!

Note: Don't plan on leftovers. If by some miracle you do have leftovers, store it in the fridge. The meringue will loose its crispy outer layer over time, because it absorbs the moisture. You can store meringue without whipped cream for longer without any problem.