pavlova with fresh berries

This Aussie dessert is perfection as a summer dessert. The assembly? Child’s play, all the real work can be done ahead of time.

The perfectly textured meringue has three layers; a thin, crispy outside layer; a chewy inside crust, and a slightly gooey, marshmallow cream-like inner core. This versatile dessert can be made as a single glorious meringue for all to dive into; as individual pavlovas or, minis for a dessert buffet. Remember to make on a sunny clear day as humidity can make the meringue soft and sticky. Other tips: even a trace of fat can prevent the egg whites from becoming high and glossy. Make sure the bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean and crack your eggs on the counter rather than the side of the bowl to make sure not even the tiniest bit of shell ends up in the whites.

Pavlova with berries
Pavlova with berries


6 large egg whites
1½ c berry sugar (super fine sugar)
1½ t cornstarch
1 t white wine vinegar
½ t vanilla
1¼ c boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with oiled foil, shiny side up. Put the egg whites, sugar, vinegar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand mixer) outfitted with a whisk attachment and beat until combined. Add the boiling water and whisk on high for about 5 minutes, until stiff glossy peaks form. Spoon onto a 9 -10 inch round on to the foil. Cook in the centre of the oven for about ten minutes, then turn down to 200°F and cook for about 40 minutes more, until semi-crisp and just starting to colour. Do not overcook. (You can tell it’s done when the entire bit can be easily lifted from the sheet in one piece.) Cool in the oven for one hour, or overnight. Store in an airtight container.


1 small container heavy cream
2 -3 c fresh berries—strawberries, blueberries, raspberries—gently washed if necessary and picked over, strawberries hulled and halved, if large.
2 T berry sugar (super fine sugar)
½ t lemon or orange zest (optional)

Chill bowl for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Pour in the heavy cream and beat on medium speed until the cream thickens. Add the sugar in a fine stream and zest if using and continue to beat until soft, fluffy peaks form. Do not over beat. Reserve in the refrigerator for up to two hours.

Assembly: Place dollops of the whipped cream over the meringue and scatter berries over.

Serves 6-8.