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Merry Christmas! The day has finally come and our last advent offering is a show stopper, a great conclusion to our project if I do say so myself.
Mmmmmmmm pavlova. Sweet and pillowy, like a kiss from an angel.
This classic dessert has its origins in Australasia, and has become the perfect dessert in the land down under, where it is hot for Christmas and lighter fare is in order. I would say that it is the perfect dessert any time, anywhere, and should be more widely served in America. Pavlova is a meringue base, layered with whipped cream and fruit. Typically served in one large cake or as mini individual desserts, we decided to go with a wreath shape, in keeping with the holiday.
Pavlova Wreath with Berries
A sweet ring of meringue is topped with whipped cream and berries in my take on this traditional dessert from down-under.
For the meringue
- 4 extra-large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine or distilled vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream
- 1 pint whipping cream chilled
For the berry topping
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves
- powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, gradually add the sugar and beat until shiny, stiff peaks form. Sift the cornstarch over the egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla and gently fold together with a spatula.
Spoon large dollops of the meringue in a circle on the parchment paper. Using a spoon, spread slightly, forming a wreath shape with a shallow trough. Bake for approximately 1 hour. The meringue should remain very light in color. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and allow to cool completely in the oven. The end result should be crisp and dry on the outside.
When the base has cooled and you are ready to serve the dessert, whip the chilled cream.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the fruit preserves for about 30 seconds, until slightly thinned. Add half of the blackberries, crush with a fork and stir until combined.
To assemble the pavlova, place the base on a serving platter. Spread the whipped cream over the base. Top with the remaining berries, then drizzle with the fruit preserve sauce. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Pavlova base recipe adapted from Ina Garten.
Please don’t forget to check out food photographer Amy Roth’s blog post here. You can find us on Instagram as @gourmet.creative and @amyrothphoto. If you like what you see, comment, subscribe and share with friends!
It has been my absolute honor to work with such a gifted artist as Amy and I hope that you have enjoyed our holiday offerings as much as I enjoyed working on them. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and all the best in the New Year!