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Raspberry Pavlova Perfection

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

A Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert made with egg whites, with a crisp crust and a soft marshmallow-y inside that is usually topped with fresh fruit, berries, curd, jam, compote and/or whipped cream. It tastes like a sweet, fruity, tart, crunchy cloud! This delightful dessert was named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and invented/created in her honor in Australia or New Zealand sometime in the 1920s.

chicken in a tutu eating dessert
Get it? GET IT?! Raspberry. Pavlova. The chicken's name is Raspberry and she was a ballerina in a past life.

If you find yourself in Porto, Portugal (my favorite place on earth!) stop in at a cute cafe called Miss Pavlova for a slice of the most delicious and incredible Pavlova I've ever tasted. Cool side story: Ana Maio started Miss Pavlova when she became unemployed and decided to change her life. She got her hands dirty, created a Facebook page, and started selling the already successful dessert among family and friends. Coincidentally I traveled to Porto, Portugal when I became unemployed and started Baking With Chickens when I decided to change my life and take a leap of faith in myself.

So while my Pavlova is nothing near as good as Miss Pavlova this dessert has a special place in my heart. I used a Blueberry Hibiscus Pavlova recipe from Two Cups Flour. You can adjust the fruit and topping as you like.

Tips for Making a Great Pavlova

  • Use fresh, room temp eggs.

  • Don't make meringue when humid, dry is better.

  • Do not open the oven after it's in the oven.

  • To prevent the meringue from cracking, keep the oven door closed and turn off the oven after the meringue has baked to allow it to cool very slowly.

  • Don't stress about how it looks and if you can't get it to look perfect. You're going to pile fruit and whipped cream on top, it'll be fine.

  • Best enjoyed immediately after making. The crisp crust doesn't hold up very long and the fruit can make it soggy. But it's still delicious the next day slightly softer.

  • To make a Pavlova ahead and store overnight, put the meringue shell without any topping in an airtight container. Add toppings when you're ready to eat. Prevent any moisture or humidity to get to the meringue, or it will turn soft. Avoid storing in the fridge.

  • To store a Pavolva already covered in fruit, curd and whipped cream, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. It will be less crunchy the next day and more soggy, but still delicious.

  • Why is my meringue sticky, soft or weeping? It is likely due to too much moisture or humidity. Weeping is caused by either the sugar isn’t completely dissolved or the egg whites are not fully cooked.

Make It Vegan!

Maybe you're out of eggs. Or maybe you don't eat eggs (I got my first vegan activist hater this week!). It's easy to make a vegan version of this recipe using aquafaba from chickenpeas instead of the egg whites. Check out the Egg White vs. Vegan Aquafaba Meringue post to learn more about baking with aquafaba.

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