Find the King Arthur pastry cream recipe at kingarthurflour.com or watch How to Make Pastry Cream – Bake it Better With Kye on YouTube.
Wow, this dessert is a stunner! What I love about it, too, is all the possibilities! This light, airy, and delicately sweet dessert is perfect summertime, and berries are in season! It really makes for an exquisite centerpiece on any table.
This Australian dessert is named after a famed Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who was touring Australia and New Zealand in the 1920’s. The chef who came up with the dessert pulled inspiration from the soft and billowy tutu. Filled with clouds of whip cream and topped with sweet berries, this dessert instantly became a favorite and enjoyed world wide.
Traditionally pavlova is topped with whip cream and berries, but there are so many ways to enjoy it. The meringue only requires egg whites, so I like to find a way to use the egg yolks and make a pudding, lemon curd, or pastry cream to fill my pavlova. Some ideas for your pavlova:
- Fillings: pudding (chocolate, vanilla, banana, lemon, etc.), lemon curd, pastry cream (vanilla, chocolate, lemon, coffee, etc.), whip cream
- Toppings: berries (macerated or tossed with sugar, lemon zest, and mint), peaches, bananas, chocolate chips or chocolate shavings (white, milk, and/or dark!), chocolate or caramel drizzle, lemon zest, sprinkles, m&m’s, nuts, mint
Find the combination that speaks to you. Much of baking is science, and measurements and ingredients need to be so precise. When you get an opportunity to be creative, take it and have fun! I LOVE coffee and I’m thinking a layer of coffee flavored pastry cream, a layer of coffee flavored whip cream, and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans and a chocolate and caramel drizzle would be divine. However, letting kids take over the decorating and giving them full control is a great way to boost their confidence. My kids are always so proud of their creations, especially when I stand back and let them do it how they want. It might end up overflowing with whip cream, sprinkles, chocolate, and fruity peoples. I’d like to say this might stop me from eating too much at once, but if I’m being honest, I love fruity pebbles.
In the video, I show two different ideas for toppings, The first is a pavlova filled with vanilla pastry cream, a layer of whip cream and topped with lemon zest, pistachios, and Demerara sugar. The next one I filled with pastry cream, a layer of whip cream and toped it with berries, white chocolate chips, mint, and demerara sugar. https://youtu.be/E8zRSTbneF4
Now, when making this pavlova, you are working with egg whites. Egg whites are incredibly finicky and there are several important things to know before hand. They must be warm or room temperature or they will not whip up. This has something to do with the protein in the egg white. Just trust me on this. Also, if ANY egg yolk, and I mean even the tiniest droplet, is in your egg whites, they will not whip up. Furthermore, if the bowl you are mixing them in is not clean and dry, they will not whip up.
Another great tip before you begin, you can make the pavlova a day in advance! Also, if you’re using pastry cream, this can be stored for up to two weeks and makes a yummy treat all on its own!
Prepare you ingredients:
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
- white chocolate chips
- Demerara sugar
- lemon zest
- chopped pistachios
- Demerara sugar
- Standing Mixer or hand held mixer with whisk attachment
- baking tray lined with parchment paper
- 8 or 9-inch cake pan to trace a circle onto parchment paper
STEP 1: Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
STEP 2: Mix 2 tsp of the sugar with the corn starch.
STEP 3: Using room temperature eggs (it is important), add the egg whites to the bowl of the standing mixer. If your eggs are not room temperature, you can give them a 10 min warm water bath to remove the chill. Save your egg yolks in an airtight container.
STEP 4: Using your whisk attachment, turn on your standing mixer (or hand held mixer) to medium-high speed for a couple minutes.
STEP 5: While whisking, add the salt.
STEP 6: While still whisking, now add your sugar a tablespoon at a time. This should take about 3 minutes. Do nut rush your meringue.
STEP 7: Still whisking, add the sugar and corn starch mixture.
STEP 8: Remove bowl from the standing mixer and add the lemon juice and vanilla, gently folding them in.
STEP 9: Using an 8 or 9-inch cake pan, trace the bottom of the pan onto a piece of parchment paper. Then, flip the piece of parchment paper over (you don’t want led on your pavlova), onto a large baking tray. This circle will be used as a guide for the size of your pavlova.
STEP 10: Use a spatula to scoop out your pavlova and form a circle with a slight well in the center.
STEP 11: Reduce the temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and put your pavlova in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
STEP 12: After 45 minutes, rotate the baking tray and continue baking for another 45 minutes. DO NOT open the oven door when done.
STEP 13: After the additional 45 minutes, let the pavlova cool in the oven for an additional hour and a half or over night.
Pastry Cream: Look up recipe on KingArthur.com or watch https://youtu.be/MlHsLwZpNHU
STEP 1: Put the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in mixing bowl.
STEP 2: Whip until soft peaks. Do not over whip.
Assemble your pavlova:
Fill with a layer of pastry cream, a layer of whip cream. Top with berries, chopped mint leaves, white chocolate chips, and Demerara sugar. Or top with lemon zest, pistachios and Demerara sugar. Or top with whatever you like!