Easy pavlova recipe

Pavlova dessert decorated with berries

Blanche Clark with Amit Sinha

Posted December 14, 2021


No Aussie Christmas is complete without a crowd-pleasing pavlova that’s topped with fresh whipped cream and summer fruits.

Make your Christmas one to remember with this pavlova recipe from RACV's Le Petit Gateau Executive Pastry Chef Amit Sinha. 

With its amazing crispy exterior and a fluffy, melt-in-your mouth interior, this pavlova can be adorned with summer fruits such as berries, mango or passionfruit. 

The long-running argument between Australia and New Zealand over who invented the pavlova may never be settled, but everyone agrees this dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova is delicious. 

If you’ve never had much success before, follow Amit’s kitchen tips to help you rise to the occasion.


Meringue magic

Amit says the secret to a good meringue, or any recipe that has whipped egg whites, is to use extremely clean equipment. 

“Any grease, oil or fat residue left on your dishes or equipment will make it hard for the meringue to retain air,” Amit says. “Even if you whip it for a long time, a trace of yolk or oil will destroy it.” 

Amit measures the egg white in grams, rather than the number of eggs, because this level of accuracy helps deliver the best results. 

Perfectly whipped meringue

The meringue is ready when it’s thick, glossy and smooth. Photo: Getty


Avoid humidity

If the humidity is high, the meringue absorbs moisture from the air, which makes the pavlova weep or go soft and sticky after baking. 

Another tip is to leave the pavlova in the oven after baking, and let it completely cool down. Then store the pavlova shell in an airtight container until you are ready to serve it.

Add cornflour and vinegar

The cornflour helps prevent problems associated with humidity, while the vinegar helps stabilise the egg-white foam.

Use caster sugar

Caster sugar dissolves more easily than standard granulated sugar. Add the sugar slowly, about ⅓ cup at a time, and make sure each addition is dissolved before adding the next lot. Fully dissolved sugar is one of the secrets to a perfect pav. But don’t over beat it. It’s ready when it’s thick, glossy and smooth.

Low and slow

It’s important to bake the pavlova at a low temperature. Do not open the oven during baking. The meringue will crack if it is cooked too quickly, or the oven is too hot.

 

Person picking strawberries

Decorate your pavlova with seasonal fruits, such as strawberries in summer. Photo: Getty


Pavlova recipe 

Serves

6-8

Time to make

1.5 hours

Difficulty

Easy

Ingredients

  • 325g fresh egg whites

  • 525g caster sugar 

  • 20g cornflour

  • 15g apple cider vinegar 

  • Vegetable oil (for greasing)

For the topping

  • 325ml whipping cream
  • Fresh seasonal fruits 

Method

  1. Using vegetable oil, grease your 15cm-diameter cake ring liberally, and set aside for later.

  2. Whisk egg whites with ⅓ of the sugar until very stiff. 

  3. Gradually add the remaining sugar while whisking.

  4. Slowly whisk through cornflour followed by vinegar. 

  5. Place mixture into oiled cake ring and flatten top with palette knife.

  6. Gently remove the ring. 

  7. Bake at 100 degrees, no fan, for 50-60 minutes or until the pavlova can be picked up. Allow to slowly cool in oven.

  8. Once the pavlova has cooled, remove from oven. Garnish just before serving to avoid the crust dissolving. Top with semi-whipped cream and your favourite fresh seasonal fruits. Enjoy!