This Strawberry Pavlova Recipe is made with egg whites, sugar, vanilla, strawberries, heavy cream, cornstarch and apple cider vinegar.
This Strawberry Pavlova Recipe is a delightful combination of textures and flavors. The meringue provides a satisfying crunch, while the cream is smooth and velvety. The juicy strawberries offer a fruity sweetness that complements the other elements of the dessert. It is often served as a centerpiece dessert at special occasions or summer gatherings and is loved for its light and refreshing taste.
- What is a Pavlova?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Strawberry Pavlova Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Strawberry Pavlova
- What to serve with Strawberry Pavlova
- Strawberry Pavlova Recipe Variations
- How to store Strawberry Pavlova
- Strawberry Pavlova Recipe Top tips
- Strawberry Pavlova Recipe
- Food safety
What is a Pavlova?
A strawberry pavlova is a classic dessert that consists of a crisp meringue shell, soft and marshmallow-like on the inside, topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and is believed to have been created in her honor during or after one of her tours to Australia or New Zealand in the 1920s.
The meringue shell is made by beating egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form, and then baking it in the oven until it becomes crisp on the outside while remaining soft and chewy on the inside. The meringue is usually shaped into a circular or rectangular base, creating a nest-like structure to hold the toppings.
Why you will love this recipe
- Delicate and crisp meringue: The meringue shell of a pavlova has a delicate, crisp exterior that shatters with a light touch, while the inside remains soft and slightly chewy. The contrast in textures is often enjoyable for dessert lovers.
- Creamy and luscious whipped cream: The whipped cream used to fill a pavlova adds a rich and creamy element to the dessert. Its smooth and velvety texture complements the airy meringue and enhances the overall indulgence.
- Fresh and sweet strawberries: Strawberries are a popular choice for pavlova toppings due to their natural sweetness and vibrant color. The juicy and fruity flavor of ripe strawberries pairs exceptionally well with the meringue and cream, adding a burst of freshness to each bite.
Strawberry Pavlova Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Egg whites
- Superfine sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Apple cider vinegar
- Heavy cream
- Powdered sugar
See recipe card for Strawberry Pavlova Recipe quantities.
How to make Strawberry Pavlova
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. With a mixer, whisk the egg whites until a soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add half of the sugar and beat for 1 minutes and then the rest of it and beat for another minutes. Continue on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. The peaks should be stiff enough that you can hold the whisk upright and the peaks wont move. Add the vanilla, cornstarch and the vinegar and keep mixing for another 30 seconds.
Spread half of the mixture onto a baking sheet into an 8 inch circle. Make sure the middle of it is thinner than the edges, as the edges cook a lot faster. Place the baking sheets in the oven and when you close the door, lower the heat to 200 degrees F. Bake for an hour and 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the merengón cool inside the oven. This is important! Do not take it out or it will break apart. The cooling time can take up to 2 hours, so make sure you make this with enough time.
While the pavlova is cooling, make the filling. Place the strawberries in a bowl and toss the granulated sugar in it. Stir and let it sit room temperate for at least 10 minutes, then refrigerate for an hour. Separately in a mixing bowl, place the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a mixer and whisk until fluffy – this is your whipped cream!
To assemble, spread half of the whipping cream onto one of the meringues. Top with some of the strawberries. The sugar makes the strawberries extract water. Place the second meringue on top of the meringue with the whipping cream. Add the rest of the whipping cream on top of the meringue and top with the rest of the strawberries.
What to serve with Strawberry Pavlova
- Additional Fresh Fruits: Alongside the strawberries, you can offer a selection of other fresh fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or sliced kiwi. These fruits can add variety, color, and different flavor profiles to each bite.
- Fruit Coulis or Sauce: Drizzling a fruit coulis or sauce over the pavlova can add an extra layer of sweetness and flavor. Popular choices include raspberry coulis, strawberry sauce, or a mixed berry compote.
- Mint Leaves: Garnishing the pavlova with fresh mint leaves not only adds a pop of color but also provides a refreshing herbal note that complements the sweetness of the dessert.
- Chocolate Shavings or Sauce: If you're a fan of chocolate, you can sprinkle some grated chocolate or chocolate shavings over the whipped cream or drizzle a chocolate sauce on top. The combination of strawberries, meringue, cream, and chocolate can be absolutely delightful.
- Strawberries: While strawberries are a popular choice, you can substitute them with other fresh fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, sliced peaches, or mangoes. Choose fruits that are in season or appeal to your taste preferences.
- Meringue: The meringue shell is a key component of pavlova, but if you prefer a different texture or have dietary restrictions, you can explore alternatives. For example, you could make a pavlova with a crunchy cookie base like shortbread or use a cake layer as a base instead of meringue.
- Whipped Cream: Traditional pavlovas use whipped cream, but if you're looking for a dairy-free option, you can use whipped coconut cream or a dairy-free whipped topping made from plant-based ingredients like soy, almond, or oat milk.
- Sweeteners: The meringue typically contains granulated sugar, but if you're looking for alternatives, you can use alternative sweeteners like coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Keep in mind that these substitutions may slightly alter the flavor and texture of the meringue.
- Garnishes: While mint leaves and chocolate are common garnishes, you can get creative and use other toppings such as toasted nuts (like almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts), shredded coconut, edible flowers, or even a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Strawberry Pavlova Recipe Variations
- Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova: Add a chocolate twist to your pavlova by incorporating cocoa powder or melted chocolate into the meringue mixture. You can also drizzle melted chocolate over the finished pavlova before adding the whipped cream and strawberries.
- Lemon Strawberry Pavlova: Infuse a refreshing citrus flavor into your pavlova by adding lemon zest or lemon juice to the meringue. The tangy lemon complements the sweetness of the strawberries and adds a bright note to the dessert.
- Balsamic Strawberry Pavlova: For a unique twist, toss the sliced strawberries in a balsamic reduction before placing them on the pavlova. The balsamic reduction adds depth and a touch of acidity to balance the sweetness.
- Coconut Strawberry Pavlova: Incorporate shredded coconut into the meringue mixture to give your pavlova a tropical flavor. You can also sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top of the whipped cream for added texture and visual appeal.
- Mixed Berry Pavlova: Instead of using only strawberries, use a combination of fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The medley of berries adds a variety of colors, flavors, and textures to the pavlova.
Check out my Key Lime Pie Recipe.
- Mixing bowls: Have a few mixing bowls of different sizes on hand. You'll need one for whisking the egg whites and another for whipping the cream. Additional bowls may be useful for preparing the fruit or any additional components.
- Electric mixer or whisk: Using an electric mixer or handheld whisk will make the process of whisking the egg whites easier and faster. It will help achieve the desired stiff peaks for the meringue.
- Baking tray or sheet: Use a baking tray or sheet lined with parchment paper to shape and bake the meringue. Ensure it is large enough to accommodate the meringue base.
- Piping bag and nozzle (optional): While not necessary, a piping bag and nozzle can be used to create decorative shapes with the meringue. It allows for precise placement and control when forming the pavlova base.
- Spatula: A spatula is handy for folding ingredients gently, such as incorporating sugar into the whipped egg whites or spreading the meringue onto the baking sheet.
- Cooling rack: A cooling rack allows the meringue to cool evenly and prevents the base from becoming soggy.
- Knife or offset spatula: Use a knife or offset spatula to loosen the meringue from the parchment paper or baking tray after it has cooled.
- Whisk or electric mixer for whipping cream: Whisking the cream to a light and fluffy consistency can be done with a hand whisk or an electric mixer, depending on your preference and available tools.
- Serving plate or cake stand: Once the pavlova is assembled, you'll need a plate or cake stand to present and serve the dessert.
How to store Strawberry Pavlova
To store my Strawberry Pavlova Recipe, you need to do the following:
- Assemble just before serving: Ideally, it's best to assemble and serve the pavlova immediately to maintain its crisp texture. However, if you need to prepare it in advance, you can store the meringue base and toppings separately.
- Storing the meringue base: Place the cooled meringue base in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to protect it from moisture. Keep it at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and humidity. Avoid refrigerating the meringue, as it may become soft and lose its crispness.
- Whipped cream and strawberries: Store the whipped cream and sliced strawberries separately in the refrigerator. Keep the whipped cream in a covered container, and the strawberries in a sealed container or airtight bag. Only assemble them on top of the meringue just before serving to maintain freshness.
- Avoid moisture: Moisture is the enemy of a pavlova, as it can cause the meringue to become soft and lose its crispness. Be sure to keep the components dry and avoid exposing them to humid environments or condensation.
- Consume within a day or two: The assembled pavlova is best enjoyed within a day or two of preparation. The longer it sits, the softer the meringue will become. If you have leftovers, it's best to consume them as soon as possible to enjoy the best texture and taste.
Strawberry Pavlova Recipe Top tips
- Room temperature egg whites: Use egg whites at room temperature for better volume and stability when whisking them. This helps create a stable meringue with stiff peaks.
- Clean and dry utensils: Ensure that all bowls, beaters, and utensils used for whisking the egg whites are completely clean and dry. Any trace of fat or moisture can hinder the whipping process and prevent the egg whites from reaching their full volume.
- Gradually add sugar: When adding sugar to the egg whites, do so gradually. Add it in small increments while continuously whisking. This allows the sugar to dissolve fully and incorporate into the egg whites, resulting in a smooth and glossy meringue.
- Create a well-formed base: Shape the meringue into a nest or base on the baking sheet, making the edges slightly higher than the center. This helps create a well to hold the toppings and prevent them from sliding off.
- Low and slow baking: Bake the meringue at a low temperature, usually around 120°C (250°F), for a longer period. This slow baking process helps dry out the meringue and achieve a crisp exterior while maintaining a soft, marshmallow-like interior.
- Cool completely before assembling: Allow the meringue to cool completely on a wire rack before assembling the pavlova. This prevents the cream from melting and keeps the meringue crisp. Patience is key!
- Avoid assembling too far in advance: It's best to assemble the pavlova just before serving to maintain the crispness of the meringue. If prepared too far in advance, the meringue can soften due to the moisture from the whipped cream and fruit.
- Slicing the strawberries: Slice the strawberries just before assembling the pavlova to keep them fresh and juicy. If sliced too early, they may release moisture and make the meringue soggy.
- Customize toppings: Feel free to get creative and customize the pavlova with your favorite toppings. You can add additional fruits, such as raspberries or passion fruit, sprinkle chopped nuts, or drizzle with flavored sauces to enhance the flavor and presentation.
- Enjoy immediately: Once assembled, serve and enjoy the pavlova immediately. It's best enjoyed fresh when the meringue is crisp, the cream is fluffy, and the strawberries are at their juiciest.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove