The secret of a pavlova is in the cooking. The oven must not be too hot or too low – you want the pav to be crunchy on the outside without being too browned. Beginners may have to practise a couple of times to master a good pavlova, and you may have to adjust your oven temperature, as every oven is different.
- 4 egg whites (61g eggs)
- 1 pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- About 1½ cups whipped cream
- 1 punnet raspberries
- 1 mango, peeled, diced
- 1 punnet strawberries
- 1 kiwi fruit, peeled, diced
- Pulp of 6 passionfruits
- 1 punnet blueberries
You need an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 250°C.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar until it is well incorporated. Fold in cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence.
Heap egg white mixture into the centre of the lined baking tray and form it into the shape of a cake about 22cm in diameter, making the centre a little shallower than the sides.
Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C and bake the pavlova for about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the pavlova from the oven and leave until cool. The meringue often cracks a little as it cools.
When you are ready to serve, spoon whipped cream over the pavlova and top generously with fresh fruits.
• Pre-heat the oven to about 250°C for at least 10 minutes before baking
• Use egg whites at room temperature
• Measure the ingredients accurately
• Beat the egg whites in a very clean bowl and use a very clean beater or whisk
• Avoid over-beating the egg whites once stiff peaks have formed
• Reduce oven temperature to low and quickly place pavlova in the oven to cook. The idea is for the outside of the pavlova to be dry and crunchy without being browned and for the inside to stay soft
• During cooking, refrain from opening the oven door unless the pavlova is browning, in which case the oven door may be opened and left ajar for a few seconds
• Don't worry if the top of the pavlova cracks a little
• Avoid handling the pavlova once it is cookedKeep the pavlova in a dry place away from draughts and moisture
• Use the freshest of fruits and avoid slicing them too long in advance
• Garnish and decorate the pavlova just before serving