Sweet! You’ll fall in love with this delicious and festive dessert! Pavlovas are a fruit lover’s palette, and the perfect dessert for your sweet Valentine! 💕 The meringue base with whipped cream or custard makes a beautiful nest for seasonal fruit. It’s gorgeous, light and airy, crunchy and chewey, and the fun part is you can color coordinate it for the season! But, it doesn’t even have to stop there, you can turn your pavlova into a chocolate meringue, or use chocolate whipped cream and then sprinkle toffee bits, toasted coconut, or dark chocolate shavings over the top, too. Bananas and salted caramel sauce are divine with a drizzling of homemade chocolate sauce, too. So many options: pineapple, mango, apricots, peaches, nectarines, kiwi, banana, figs, berries, cherries, strawberries. Are we missing any?
We made this pavlova with red fruit – raspberries, cherries, and pomegranates, and orange flower petals just in time for Valentine’s Day, and we love the way it turned out, but if you want to wait until Easter or Passover for your pav, then pick kiwi and blackberries or oranges and Meyer lemons. The fruit basket is the limit! Pavlovas are really pretty easy to make, using egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. They’re so easy to whip up, but you need a little patience in cooking them. They take a couple of hours in the oven to bake to just the right texture.
Courts and I happened to meet some wonderful new friends from Australia (Kylie and Zoe) on our Grand Canyon river run last May. They told us about “Pav Magic” and we were so excited when they shipped us two containers of Pavlova Magic, a super easy pavlova mix that comes in its own little measuring egg and it turns out perfectly every time. Unfortunately, we cannot readily get them in the states, but you can order Pav Magic on Amazon or through your local IGA grocery store. I am in Grenada at the moment, and they have Pav Magic in the local grocery store, which is amazing! Also, we just recently purchases Judee’s Meringue Powder Mix, which would be delicious, too! So, if you’re not inclined to make your own meringue, then give this one a try!
Beautiful Berry Pavlova
- 1 standing mixer or handheld beater
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 pastry bag fit with a large piping tube or large open star tip and matching coupler.
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 cup extrafine granulated sugar you can make yours extrafine by putting it in the food processor for a minute or so
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Yogurt Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups assorted red fruits of your choice, sliced or whole depending upon the fruit berries, cherries, strawberries, kiwi, bananas
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw an 8-10 inch circle on the parchment paper. This will be the guide for your meringue wreath. Flip the paper over so the pencil side is down. You will still be able to see the guide on the other side.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of your mixer, along with the cream of tartar. Beat until frothy and foamy. Slowly add sugar, and continue to beat on high until you have very stiff, shiny peaks. You should be able to hold a spoon of the egg whites upside down and they will stay for a minute or so. Beat in vanilla.
- Using a large spoon or a pastry bag fit with a large open star or plain tube tip, pipe the meringue around the circle by making large swirls or flowers with the bag or mounds if using a spoon, making the wreath about 3 inches wide. Fill in any gaps with extra meringue. The edges should be higher with little dips along the center of the wreath to hold cream and fruit.
- Reduce the oven temp to 200°F. Place the meringue into the oven and bake for 90 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. After 90 minutes, the meringue should be crunchy on the outside, but remain soft on the inside. Remove from oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in a cool spot for a day or two, before serving.
- Once cooled, fill the dips in the center of the wreath with yogurt-whipped cream, and arrange fruit on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but serve it soon, once the fruit is on top of the meringue it can get soggy.
- Beat the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl or in your standing mixer. Fold in yogurt and vanilla. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pavlova.
- This recipe will also make 8 individual mini pavlovas
- We love the tartness of the yogurt blended with whipped cream, but if you prefer straight whipped cream, it will be perfectly delicious too.
- You can also flavor the whipped cream with lime or lemon juice, instant coffee or cocoa powder if you like to add a touch of something different to your pavlova cream. We love using lemon curd as the topper too.
- Meringue is best eaten right away, once cooled. However, you can store the baked meringue in an airtight container for up to a day or two.
- Don’t add fruit or cream to the meringue until evening you are ready to serve the dessert.