The Perfect Pavlova for the Holidays + Baking Tips for your Best Pavlova!

A pavlova is a meringue-based dessert where it is crispy on the outside, and contains a soft and fluffy, marshmallow-like texture on the inside. Mastering the perfect pavlova can be achieved with practice and patience. Check out our best tips for perfecting your pavlova, plus make your own holiday pavlova wreath for all your upcoming festivities. A pavlova is a dessert made for entertaining; and you will surely “wow” guests at your upcoming holiday parties with this festive and elaborate pavlova. The pavlova wreath recipe we share below is bursting with raspberry flavor and is paired with a wonderfully tart and sweet raspberry curd, and a creamy, vanilla whipped cream. Garnish with raspberries, blackberries, and fresh mint to bring this enchanting wreath to life.

What is the origin of the pavlova?

The origin of this delicious dessert is controversial, as both Australia and New Zealand claim ownership. New Zealand claims the dessert was created in honor of Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina, in the 1920s, when she toured the country. The pavlova is so light and airy – just like a ballerina’s dance performance. However, Australia claims the pavlova was created by Chef Herbert at Perth’s Esplanade Hotel in 1935, and it was named by the house manager, Harry Nairn, who remarked it was “as light as pavlova.” Even though we cannot agree on its origins, we can all agree the pavlova is the perfect dessert for serving for its beauty and deliciousness.

What is the difference between a meringue and a pavlova?

Both meringue and pavlova are egg white desserts and are made similarly. Both require egg whites to be whipped into a foam, with sugar mixed in, and are then baked at a low temperature until dry. However, meringue is crispy and dry throughout, whereas the pavlova has the dry exterior and is airy and fluffy on the inside.

Our Best Tips for the Perfect Pavlova

  1. Weather is a major factor on the success of a pavlova. Wet or humid weather can make a pavlova more receptible to collapsing or “weeping” due to sugar absorbing and holding moisture from the air. Undissolved sugar will also cause weeping, so make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl several times early during the mixing process. It is best to add sugar in 1 tablespoon increments very slowly to make sure it fully dissolves.
  2. Wipe all utensils, whisks, bowls, etc. with vinegar and a clean paper towel before starting. During the baking process, keep your bowl, beaters, and spatula free from oils. Any residual fat/oil residue can keep the eggs from properly whipping.
  3. Flavor your pavlova! Some people like to use vanilla extract for flavor and aroma. In addition to vanilla extract, try flavoring your pavlova with any Super-Strength flavor that is water-soluble for a delicious spin.
  4. Do not over-whisk or beat egg whites. When over-whisking or over-beating your egg whites, the egg protein will break-up and lose its structure, which can cause the pavlova to crack, weep or collapse. Egg whites should be stiff peaks, meaning you should be able to pull out the whisk, hold it upside down and not have anything fall out. The eggs will be glossy.
  5. Bake pavlova at a low temperature and very slow to give it plenty of time to dry out on the outside, and create the delicious crisp edges and the soft, marshmallow center. It is best to not open the oven door during the baking or drying process.
  6. Pavlova is best served immediately due to their fragility. However, if you do need to make it in advance, it should only be made a day or two prior to serving. We suggest adding a food safe, desiccant pack to the storage container. This will help keep it fresh for your upcoming parties.

Think you’re ready to take on a pavlova? Scroll to get our festive recipe!

Holiday Wreath Pavlova

Ingredients

For Pavlova:
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups and 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon LorAnn Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon LorAnn Raspberry Super-Strength Flavor

For Raspberry Curd:
2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
1/2 cup softened butter

For Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon LorAnn Pure Vanilla Extract

For Topping:
raspberries
blackberries
fresh mint

Directions

For Raspberry Pavlova:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Trace a 10-inch-diameter circle on a piece of parchment with a pencil. Trace a 5 1/2-inch-diameter circle in center of larger circle. Place on a baking sheet, tracing-side down.
  2. Whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in vinegar, cornstarch, vanilla, and raspberry flavoring.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a large plain tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe 10 evenly spaced mounds (each about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 inches high) onto parchment in a circle, using traced ring as a guide.
  4. With the back of a spoon, create a hollow in each mound. Bake until ring easily lifts off parchment, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Turn off heat; let stand in oven 1 hour.

For Raspberry Curd:

  1. Set out two bowls, one with the butter in it and one with a fine mesh sieve over it.
  2. Place the frozen raspberries, the zest and the lemon juice in a small pot. Cook on medium to low heat until the raspberries soften and burst and it’s mostly liquid.
  3. Press the raspberry mix through the fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and zest, scraping the bottom of the sieve. You should have ¾ cup raspberry lemon juice. Discard the seeds and rinse the sieve and pat dry, and set it over the bowl with the butter in it.
  4. Return the raspberry juice to the pot and add the sugar and stir. The mix should have cooled quite a bit by now, if it’s hot, wait a bit. Whisk in the eggs (and starch if using) then return the pot to the stove, cooking at medium heat and whisking until the curd is thick at the bottom and covers the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the curd through the sieve and press to get as much curd out as possible, scraping the bottom of the sieve. Stir the curd and the butter until the butter is fully melted and you have a shiny, smooth curd. Transfer to a mason jar or Pyrex glass dish and store in the fridge. The curd will become more tart-tasting and stronger in flavor as it chills.

For Whipped Cream:

  1. Put the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl (glass or metal preferred) into the refrigerator to chill for at least 15-30 minutes (or longer).
  2. Add whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the chilled bowl of a standing mixer (or chilled mixing bowl).
  3. Use the wire whisk attachment to a standing mixer, or a hand-held mixer, and beat the ingredients together, starting on low speed and increasing to high slowly as it begins to firm up.
  4. Beat for 60-90 seconds until stiff peaks form. Stopping once halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Transfer mixture to a piping bag or store in a Pyrex glass bowl and place in the fridge if not serving the pavlova right away.

Assembly

  1. To serve, divide raspberry curd and whipped cream evenly among hollows in pavlovas.
  2. Garnish with raspberries, blackberries, and fresh mint.

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