Today’s recipe is dear to my heart. You’ll all remember my post about how my husband told me that I’d better have a backup dessert handy in case my pavlova didn’t turn out as they were incredibly difficult to make? I just love this dessert. It’s like eating heavenly air and there is always room for pavlova.
Imagine my delight when Becki Robins from Travel By Stove wrote to share her recipe for pavlova. Honestly I can’t get enough of this. Her pavlova is topped with strawberries but a pavlova can be topped with any fruit you enjoy eating. It IS a dessert after all.
Becki is a mother of four and teaches her children geography by cooking two to four recipes a week from a different country or a different state. I thought the idea was so clever that I was eager to share her recipe and introduce you to her. Kids learn so much when they’re engaged and what better way to get their attention focused on a new country than by its food. Once you get the food, they’ll want to know more. Clever idea, don’t you think? Here’s her post:
Thanks Maureen, I’m really glad to share my recipe with your readers and I’m sure you have an opinion on where the this dessert originated, however the jury is still out on whether the decadent dessert known as pavlova actually originated in Australia or New Zealand. And the jury is likely to always be out on that question, because Australians and New Zealanders love to argue about stuff like that.
I decided to give Australia credit when I did this dessert for my blog, Travel by Stove. And now I can see why neither country is willing to give way to the other, because pavlova is delicious. Hell, I’d like to take credit for it, too.
No one disagrees on the inspiration for this meringue-based dessert–it was created to honor Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The chef who first made pavlova is said to have envisioned a dish as “light and airy” as the dancer herself.
So here it is, pavlova, in one of its many incarnations.
- 4 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 8 oz baking sugar (super fine, but not powdered)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence, divided
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp baking sugar
- 1 lb strawberries, quartered (or use whatever fruit is in season)
- Beat the egg whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Then gradually add the sugar, vinegar and half a teaspoon of the vanilla.
- Spread the mixture into a lightly-greased pie plate, leaving an indentation in the center for the filling (which you will add after baking).
- If your stove is electric, preheat to 400, put the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1½ hours, making sure not to disturb the pan. If your stove is gas, put the meringue in and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250 and bake for another hour.
- Turn the oven off, but don't take the meringue out until it is cool.
- Just before you are ready to serve, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then add the sugar and vanilla extract. Spread the whipped cream into the hollow at the center of the meringue, then top with the fruit.
Note: you may have to fight your family for a second piece. I did.
Becki Robins blogs at Travel by Stove. Her blog follows her efforts to cook one meal from every nation on Earth.
Thanks Becki and folks, you can follow Becki on Twitter or Facebook and let her know she’s one cool mom. or mum.
This recipe looks like heaven
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I think teaching food about geography through food is a brilliant idea! After all, what child wouldn’t love this dessert and then love Australia (or yes, NZ!) as a result?
kristy @ the wicked noodle says
I’ve never tried Pavlova but it sounds delicious!
Norma Chang says
What a clever way to teach children (and adults too I may add) about the world. I am about to have breakfast and Pavlova would be great, thanks.
Laura @ Family Spice says
I made a pavlova once and it turned out gorgeous. It really does make your guests ooh and aaah!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe yes Australia or New Zealand for the pavlova? Who knows? But it is definitely one of my favourite desserts ever 😀 Always a second serve of this!
Looks like I have new dessert to add to my “must make” list. I’ve never had Pavlova but the picture has me convinced I need to.
This looks so delicious!
I found this comment in spam.. the wordpress gods have sinned! I’m so sorry and thanks heaps for the comment!
A great way indeed! Especially if it’s a dessert of this airy proportions!! Loved it!!
Your pavlova looks fantastic!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Pavlovas are so beautiful, this looks wonderful!
I’ve made meringues but never a Pavlova. It’s such a pretty dessert that I really need to sometime. Nice, clear instructions – great recipe. And really cool that Becki’s kids are learning geography through their stomachs! That’s how I wish I had done it. But because I didn’t, I now get to travel and eat local dishes at the source – not a bad deal at all!
Hotly Spiced says
I love pavlova and I grew up with it in NZ and Australia so I’m happy for both countries to take the credit on this one. You are so right when you say pavlova can be topped with any fruit which is perfect because it means you can cook pavlova any time of the year – there will always be fresh fruit to go with this light as air dessert! xx
Choc Chip Uru says
Pavlova is the epitome of a great dessert, this looks sensational 😀
Choc Chip Uru
LOL!! We do take credit for everything NZ so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a NZ dessert… but until it is proven its aussie to me 😉 Gorgeous dessert, looks so YUM! I was just looking through your other recipes and there are so many more amazing treats for me to try. Thanks for sharing 🙂
A perfect day is pavlova for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The Café Sucré Farine says
How pretty! I love meringue desserts. I came originally from Wisconsin which has a very German heritage. We called them schaumtortes, same thing, different name, all delicious!
Mikaela Cowles says
I don’t care who gets credit as long as I get to eat it. What a great dessert. This looks fantastic.
I have never tried making pavlova before but with the photo teasing me and the statement that we might have to fight for a second piece I am tempted to try !
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Love a good pavlova!
I have never heard of this but it looks amazing. Thanks for sharing.
Jenn and Seth says
i love pavlova but have yet to try making it myself, looks incredible!!
Sawsan (Chef in disguise) says
Pavlova is one dessert that has been on my list forever!
I need to change that!
I firmly believed any dessert without butter is not worth eating…but then I tried pavlova one day and it just kind of changed my whole perspective! This looks heavenly!
Sophia, I used to believe like you until I moved to Australia and had this dessert for the first time. It’s probably why I decided to stay. 🙂
Jack Milgram says
I was making ooh and ah after I saw the photo)) The recipe is really orgasmic. Now I understand the name of your blog and fully agree with it.
i have been too intimidated to make pavlova. so, i truly appreciate the detailed instructions and recipe. btw, that picture really is orgasmic 😉
You sound like my husband. It really is easy – just a lot of whippage 🙂
Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
Wow, I have never tried pavlova, but this sounds seriously awesome!!
Kristi, you must try this dessert. You’ll be a hero, I promise.
An all time classic dessert for any hour of the day!
I’m happy to have pavlova for breakfast anytime 🙂
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
I don’t think I’ve had a pavlova topped with fruit and cream. It looks luscious!
Barbara, you must stop what you’re doing right now and make a pavlova. Seriously, it couldn’t be easier. It’s just egg whites and sugar and slow bake so the outside is dry and crusty (the best bit if you ask me) and the inside is soft and creamy, then the cream topped with fruit on top. It’s a wonderful dessert.
Baker Street says
what a gorgeous dessert! i never make pavlovas myself but I absolutely love eating them..
Oh damn, I love pavlova! Best thing about Australia (or NZ hehe), except for your of course my dear Maureen! 😉
I haven’t had one in absolutely AGES… I love it when the meringue is perfectly done so it’s slightly gooey and sticky… ooooh yes 😀
yes of course, I’d be one of the best things down under 🙂 You’re so funny, Charles.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I’ve never had a chance to have this dessert even now. I learned about it after I started blogging and STILL not eaten yet. 🙁 I hear great things about this dessert and I feel I have to make it on my own (as I don’t see them commonly here). Looks wonderful!
i always love pavlova because of the strawberries and cream, simply satisfying!
what a fun way to learn geography! Oh and tasty too, I just love Pavlova !!
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb says
Becki thats so clever! The other day I had the same thought… if I have ever children then I would try to teach them food geography. =)
Pavlova sounds familiar, not sure where I had heard this before. This dish reminds me of the french ” Ilse” dish (I don’t remember the whole name, I know its something with island), but I am not sure either because I hadn’t tried making it myself, I just know it tastes like a piece of heaven. Your pavlova must be tasting amazing!
Delicious delicious! pavlova is one of my favourite desserts.
It’s so nice to see classic, but perfectly executed recipe like this! Wonderful.
Hi Hamilton and thanks for stopping by. I’m off to have a visit at your place!