Classic pavlova is an Aussie Christmas staple. The airy meringue with a marshmallow-soft centre combined with fresh berries nestled in cream make it a great summer dessert: sweet, light, fresh, and best devoured immediately.
It is a bit ironic that the classic pavlova is one of our most beloved holiday desserts as meringue is not the easiest to whip up when it is hot and humid. But don’t let the weather deter you. Make the meringue the night before when it is cooler, but always assemble the pavlova just before serving.
Serves 6. Prep time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 90 minutes.
- 4 egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 300ml thickened cream
- 1 lemon, zested
- 450g berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or a mixture of these)
- 3 tsp icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites until stiff and shiny peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Continue whisking for 3-4 minutes, or until meringue is stiff and glossy. Whisk in cornflour and vinegar.
- Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment.
- Use a palette knife or spatula and shape it into a circle approximately 20cm in diameter.
- Turn the temperature of the oven down to 100C and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool completely with the oven door slightly ajar.
- Peel off the baking parchment and transfer the pavlova to a serving dish.
- Scrape the vanilla seeds into a mixing bowl. Add the double cream and lemon zest and whip softly.
- Spoon the cream mixture onto the pavlova. Add the berries and dust with icing sugar. Serve.
For more tips, read our blog on How to Make Pavlova.