Pavalova covered in Raspberries and blueberries with kiwi on the side

Traditional Aussie Pavlova

Ingredients

  • For meringue base*:
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • For topping:
  • Approx 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream (more if you like)
  • Sliced fresh fruit of your choice – recommend any combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, ripe mango, kiwi and passionfruit pulp
  • *Makes a 10″ round Pav – quantities can be doubled for an 8″ x 10″ rectangle.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Place egg whites in a clean glass, ceramic or metal bowl (not plastic!) and whip until stiff peaks form. (Use a stand mixer or electric beaters for best results.)

Very gradually add granulated sugar while continuing to whip, ensuring that sugar is fully dissolved. The mixture should still form stiff peaks.

Using a spatula or metal spoon gently fold in vanilla extract, vinegar and cornstarch until just combined.

Turn out onto the centre of lined baking tray and shape into a rough circle or rectangle about 2″ to 3″ thick. (If your mixture is still slightly runny allow it to spread naturally and leave it slightly thicker at the centre.)

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour at 300F.  Switch off and allow Pav to cool completely in the oven. (I usually make it the night before and leave it in the oven overnight.  If you don’t have time for this step, don’t worry – it will still be delicious, but not quite as crisp on the outside and may collapse in the centre, which will be fine when covered up with whipped cream.) 

When meringue has completely cooled, whip cream into soft peaks. (I don’t usually add sugar because the meringue is sweet enough but some vanilla or almond extract is nice if you don’t like it plain.)

Spread the whipped cream generously over the meringue and top with fresh fruit.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

What makes it special?

This is a very popular dessert in Australia and New Zealand, especially in the summer.  It looks impressive when served and is very simple to make, although it can take a bit of practice to get the meringue right.  It should be very light, crisp on the outside and a bit like soft marshmallow in the centre.  The plain whipped cream and tart fruit contrasts with the sweetness of the meringue perfectly.  This is the dessert people always ask me to bring to the party!

What’s Your Connection to Princeton?

Moved here two years ago from Australia. Volunteer at PPL.

Recipe shared by Zoe McInally

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