This is one of our family’s favourite recipes and it is pretty much a sale for any family occasion or gathering.
While pavlova gets a bad rap as difficult to make, if you master the basic technique it can be quite easy. This following recipe is based on Stephanie Alexander’s recipe and we have been using it for years as it is pretty foolproof and easily adaptable to making larger versions.
A couple of things to remember before starting.
- Have eggs that are very fresh and are resting at room temperature. We like large NZ organic eggs for this.
- Reserve the egg yolks to make a custard or scrambled eggs the next day.
- Your utensils also need to be very clean and free of oil.
- Oven temperature is critical. Know your oven and experiment with the best way to get the best result for your pavlova.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
This recipe is for one large round pavlova.
When serving more than 6 guests we double the recipe and adjust the cooking time.
FOR THE BASIC PAVLOVA
- 4 egg whites
- pinch of sea salt
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 level teaspoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- few drops pure vanilla essence
- 300 – 500ml whipping cream or a mixture of mascarpone cream and whipping cream. Carefully fold the mascarpone cream with the whipped cream
TOPPINGS – for this recipe we have chosen the berries and nuts variant. At our restaurants we currently serve the Mango and Lemon Curd topping variant.
- 1 tablespoon Pistachio Paste – more or less to taste
- A handful of shelled fresh pistachios
- Redcurrants, raspberries or any red berries of your choice
- Fresh perfect basil leaves
We have also finished this off with baked rhubarb, plums and rosewater finished with pistachios, Persian fairy floss and added a little bit of rose pink colouring to the pavlova for a pretty pink effect.
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Line a round baking tray with baking paper cut into 20 – 25 cm diameter.
- Beat egg whites and salt together until stiff peaks form. At this point add the sugar gradually – about a third at a time in a steady stream – continue beating. Finish adding in the sugar, beat until the meringue is very thick and shiny.
- Slow the beaters down to a walking pace, gently sprinkle in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence. Continue to beat until fully incorporated especially the corn flour.
- Pile the meringue onto the lined baking tray smoothing the sides and flatting the top but not too much. The meringue will expand so don’t take it too close to the edge.
- Place in the middle rack in oven & lower the temperate to 150C. Cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature again to 120C for a further 45 minutes. Turn off oven and leave inside the oven until completely cooled.
Once cooled and you are ready to serve, gently slide the pavlova onto a serving plate. Dress the pavlova just before you are about to serve it and not before or the shell will go soggy.
Whip up the cream until it is firm (you can do this ahead of time and store covered in the fridge) or if you prefer to add half volume whipped cream with mascarpone & fold together. Fold in the pistachio paste until well blended but don’t over blend or whip.
Dress with the berries and basil. You can then finish this off with a light dusting of icing sugar through a fine mesh sieve.