I’ve been searching for the best Pavlova recipe, I’ve been trying out tons of different recipes, in several languages and in various sources. And I found it! The recipe below is the result of my research and trial. This is your success every time, at every party and in every company. People just love it! All you need is just some practice.
This delicious cake consists of three main parts: the meringue, cream (crème pâtissière) and berries!
6 egg whites
a pinch of salt
two drops of lemon juice
350 g sugar
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp corn flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt and two drops of lemon juice till they are fluffy and light.
- Little by little add the sugar and whisk it well till stiff peaks.
- Stop whisking. Carefully add the vinegar, sifted corn flour and sifted vanilla powder. Try not to beat it, try to keep the fluffiness.
- Put a baking paper sheet on the baking tray, take a baking form (24-26 cm in diameter) and draw a circle around it, so that you have a 24-26 cm circle drawn on your baking sheet.
- Put the meringue dough within this circle, make it with nice rough peaks.
- Bake for about one hour at 110 C, on the very bottom railing. Keep an eye on it all the time. It may happen that it will need more than one hour, maybe 1,5 hours. It should only get a little color. When it starts cracking a bit, it’s time to switch it off. Make sure you don’t open the oven door! Switch it off and leave the meringue there. That’s why it’s a bit of an art, you need to do it twice or more before you start feeling the right time to switch off your oven. It should be almost done when you turn it off. If you open the door, it will lose its fluffiness. After 20-30 min, open the door a little to create small airing room. Leave it in the oven till it’s cool. You can even leave it there overnight.
- You can make the meringue even one month before you serve your cake. Just put it in a plastic bag when it’s cool and keep it in a dry cupboard.
Crème pâtissière (or custard)
6 egg yolks
4,5 dl milk
3/4 dl sugar
1,5 tbsp corn flour
4,5 gelatine sheets
3-4 dl whisking cream
- Warm up the egg yolks, milk, sugar, corn flour and gelatin (cut into pieces) in a saucepan, on a medium to low temperature. Make sure you stir it very often and keep an eye on it. Stir till it starts thickening.
- Cool it down. Keep it in the fridge till you need it.
- Whisk the cream right before serving the cake. Don’t whisk it stiff, leave it a bit undone. Add the custard cream mixture and whisk a bit more on a slow speed.
Assemble your cake: put the cream (custard + cream) on top of the meringue. Decorate it with berries of your choice. I usually go for strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Drizzle with some icing sugar.
P.S. Did you know that the cake carries the name of great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, but the cake is little known in Russia?! Some people say it’s a traditional dessert from New Zealand, some say that a famous French chef made the cake for Pavlova upon her visit to France, and others say that this is the only dessert she could allow herself to enjoy (without the cream, of course!) because of her ballet career!
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