Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RECIPE: Impress-the-Guests Pavlova

If you're looking for a showstopping dessert that is both easy and inexpensive to prepare, look no further! Pavlova has become our traditional Easter dessert, and for good reason. The different components can be prepared a day or two in advance, with the final assembly taking just a couple of minutes. I haven't yet served it to anyone who hasn't loved it, and it's a light and refreshing dessert after a heavy meal like Easter dinner.

The recipe can look a bit intimidating as there are several different layers, but each step is quite easy, so don't let that scare you off. You can easily make the meringue shell one day and the pudding the next, and whip the cream and slice the fruit the day of the meal.


Meringue shell:
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 egg whites at room temperature (save yolks for the pudding)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Lemon Pudding:
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
½ cup light cream
3 egg yolks (reserved from making the meringue)
juice and finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp butter

3-4 cups sliced berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a combination)

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Make the meringue shell:  
·      Trace an 8” circle onto parchment paper (use an 8” round cake pan as a guide). Flip the paper over (so trace marks are on underside) and place on a baking sheet.
·      In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch.

·      In a large bowl, combine egg whites and salt. Beat with electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time.

·      Add vinegar and vanilla and beat until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

·      Spread meringue in a circle on the parchment, using tracing as a guide. Mound the edges to make them higher, making the meringue “nest” like (the indentation in the middle will hold the filling)..

·      Bake meringue at 300°F for about 45 minutes or until slightly golden with a firm crust on the outside (the inside will still be softer and marshmallow-like).

·      Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven one hour longer to cool. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. (The meringue shell can be made 2-3 days in advance; store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container until ready to serve).

Make the pudding:
·      In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the milk and cream.

·      Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken.

·      In a small bowl, beat egg yolks. Add about ½ cup of hot milk mixture to egg yolks and stir until combined.

·      Add egg mixture to saucepan and continue to whisk until mixture thickens completely.

·      Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, zest and butter. Pour into a medium bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (at least 2 hours or up to 2 days in advance of serving). 

Assemble the Pavlova:
Place meringue on serving dish. Spoon pudding into centre of meringue, then top with berries. Spoon cream over top.

Serves 6-8.

I shared this recipe at Tasty Tuesday, What's On the Menu Wednesday, Frugal Food Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, the GCC Recipe Swap, Fat Camp Friday, Friday Favorites and Sweets for a Saturday.


  1. Thanks, Beth! My family doesn't seem to have too many qualms about digging right in :)

  2. Well, while I say that, I'm sure I would be able to dig right in too :)

    I think I may try and make this for my family's Easter, I think they would enjoy it as something different.

  3. You've definitely impressed me with this one. It looks stunning. I hope you'll come by and link it up to Sweets for a Saturday.

  4. Hi Karen,
    What a special dessert, the crunchy of the meringue, creamy pudding and fresh fruit. It looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  5. Sharing this great recipe on my Wednesday and wandering list, thanks so much.


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