Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and whipped cream. Pavlova is a beautiful and light dessert that Australians and New Zealanders have claimed as their signature dessert.
The meringue is soft and light on the inside with a light crispy outside. It literally feels like you are eating a cloud; it is so airy. To get this desired texture, it is essential to beat the eggs until it creates stiff peaks. Understanding how long to beat the eggs can be a little tricky. It may take a few tries to get a feel for what the consistency should be.
My advice, take it slow and be patient. It will be worth it! This is a great dessert for the summertime when you want something sweet but not heavy.
FOR THE PAVLOVA
- 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested
- Fresh fruit
- lemon zest
- Make the Pavlova: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle in the middle (I traced 8-inch parchment rounds, but you could cake pans or anything else about the same diameter). Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy, then add the cream of tartar. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat to soft peaks. While continuing to beat the egg whites, gradually add the granulated sugar and beat until glossy and stiff peaks form. Spoon the mixture onto the circle, and use a spatula to shape the egg white mixture into a circle with decorative sides, if desired.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until firm to the touch. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue in the oven to cool. This is important as it keeps the meringue from breaking with a large temperature change.
- Make the Whipped Cream: Place the heavy cream, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks.
- Transfer the pavlova to a serving platter, then top with the whipped cream and fresh fruit garnish. Serve immediately or within the hour.
PRO TIP: Once you put the cream on top of the meringue the meringue will start to go get wet and fall, so wait to put the dessert together until you are ready to serve.