Crispy on the outside, pillowy and marshmallowy on the inside, this meringue based dessert, pavlova, is perfect with a variety of toppings. My peach pavlova is layered with mascarpone whipped cream, macerated peaches, honey and chopped pistachios. It's light, not overly sweet, and absolutely delicious.
- Egg whites - the foundation of the pavlova, the main ingredient
- Cream of tartar - helps prevent the egg whites from collapsing, keeping the meringue stable, and also helps prevent weeping after the pavlova is baked
- Cornstarch - helps the center of the pavlova become thicker, and more marshmallowy
- Granulated sugar - Sugar is necessary in making a meringue. Don't reduce the sugar as it's needed to make a proper meringue.
- Vanilla - flavor
Tips for perfect pavlovas:
- Avoid baking pavlovas in high humidity - Sugar can absorb water from the surrounding environment, so when this happens and the sugar absorbs too much, the pavlova can weep.
- A stand mixer is a recommended for pavlovas. Hand mixers will work too, but it will take a few minutes longer, and require a bit of more work. Avoid hand whisking.
- Adding the sugar slowly to the meringue ensures that the sugar is dissolving. Undissolved sugar can cause weeping (leaking water) after being being baked.
- Don't over beat the egg whites before adding sugar. If you beat the egg whites too much and they become grainy, you'll have to start over. Over beaten egg whites can lead to a weeping, cracked and sunken pavlova.
- A bit of cracking, and the center of the pavlova sinking a bit, is completely normal. When the center sinks and pulls away from the sides, it's likely the egg whites were over beaten, causing the egg protein structure to collapse. Ensuring that your oven temperature is correct, and the oven isn't opened during or right after baking, will help prevent cracking.
How to make pavlova
- Preheat the oven to 275F and draw a 6" circle on a piece of parchment.
- Whisk the egg whites until foamy.
- Beat in the cream of tartar, and beat the whites until soft peaks form.
- Beat in the sugar and cornstarch a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Beat until the meringue is thick and glossy.
- Pile the meringue in the center of the 6" circle, smoothing out the meringue and creating a design with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 250F. Do not open the oven.
- Bake for an additional 45 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, leave the oven closed, and turn on the oven light.
- Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least an hour or up to overnight.
Peach Pavlova toppings
- Mascarpone whipped cream - Mascarpone, cream, powdered sugar and vanilla are beaten together to medium peaks and layered onto the pavlova.
- Macerated peaches - Peaches are mixed with brown sugar and a pinch of salt, then left to soften. The peaches are strained, reserving 1 tablespoon of juice. Layer the peaches over the mascarpone cream.
- Honey - Whisk together the reserved peach juice and honey and drizzle over the peaches.
- Chopped pistachios - Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the pavlova for a little crunch.
If you make my peach pavlova, let me know! Drop a comment below or tag me on Instagram.
For more meringue based desserts, check out these recipes:
Summer Berry Eton Mess Cheesecake
Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue
- 6 large (210) egg whites, room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large (2 cups/340g) peaches, sliced
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- pinch of salt
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- ½ cup (114g) mascarpone cheese, cold
- 1 cup (227g) heavy cream, cold
- ¼ cup (28g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (84g) honey
- ¼ cup (28g) chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 275F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 6" circle. It doesn't have to be exact. Flip the parchment so the circle is underneath.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
- Beat in the cream of tartar.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat the whites to soft peaks.
- Whisk together the sugar with the cornstarch.
- While continuing to beat the egg whites, gradually add the sugar mixture (a couple tablespoons at a time) and beat until glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Spoon the meringue onto the parchment circle. Use an offset spatula to spread the meringue evenly to the edges of the circle. Create design into the meringue (see my reels on Instagram)
- Bake for 60 minutes or until the meringue starts to turn a very pale tan color.
- Reduce the heat to 250°F (do not open the door) and continue to bake for 45 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, (do not open the door) and turn on the light. Leave the meringue sitting in the cooling oven for hour, up to overnight. The center will collapse and you might see some cracks - totally normal.
- In a large bowl combine the peaches, brown sugar and salt.
- Stir until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- With a strainer, strain the peaches over a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of peach juice.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low medium speed beat the mascarpone until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until medium peaks form. (not soft peaks but not stiff, somewhere in between)
- Top the pavlova with the whipped cream.
- Layer the peaches on top of the whipped cream.
- Combine the honey with 1 tablespoon of the reserved peach juice.
- Drizzle the honey mixture over the peaches.
- Sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios, then serve.
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