Pavlova with Lemon cream, Peach and Raspberries
There have been passionate debates between the Aussies & Kiwis around the origin of this beautiful dessert, but new research indicates that pavlova has been around way before 1926. Here’s an interesting article from Goodfood.com.au if you want to know more.
Some handy tips when making a pavlova:
- Blend your sugar finer in a food processor so it dissolves faster. This will cut your whisking time to more than 1/2 compared to granulated sugar.
- Grease the baking paper so the pavlova doesn’t stick and crack.
- Keep an eye on your pavlova if it’s the first time & use an oven thermometer. You don’t want any colour on it, so you might need to adjust the temperature if you see it’s starting to get some colour.
- Do not open the door of the open. I find opening the oven door tend to crack the pavlova.
- Practice makes perfect. I didn’t perfect this recipe the first time, I had to try and try and try again and workout the best way, and hopefully, the best way for me is also the best way for you!
- Be patient, use medium speed not high speed to make sure your egg whites do not whip a lot faster than your sugar dissolves.
- Have fun with it! There are a number of ways to garnish your pavlova, I have another recipe that uses the yolks left by the 4 egg whites for a creme patissiere pictured above, here.
Make your meringue taller or wider, it’s up you!
Another thing people ask me is if they need a stand mixer and which one I recommend. I personally use Kenwood Chef Sense XL (pictured below) which I now have for 4 years. Keep in mind that I use it a lot and I also make dough, so the big capacity is great and it’s an investment for me. If you really want a Kitchenaid, I think the Kitchenaid Artisan KSM160 is good value because you get 2 size bowls for the price, and of course, you get to choose from an array of colours. However, if you’re just trying baking out, a hand mixer would do the job and save you $$$ if you realise it’s not for you. Before I bought my big mixer, I would knead my dough by hand and only had the Sunbeam Beatermix Pro, which I still keep in the drawer in case of emergency!
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I made a video while I made this pavlova, to serve as a guide if it’s your first time or if you’ve never had success in getting that perfect crispy and soft contrast. Watch it below and turn the sound on so you can hear all the directions and tips.
Now that you’re ready to whip this beautiful dessert up, I just want to remind you that baking should be fun. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you don’t get the results you hope for the first time around, but practice makes perfect. Print the recipe and write your own notes, so that next time you know what to adjust until your 100% happy with your result! Happy baking!
with Raspberries, Peaches & Lemon Cream
- Lemon Cream:
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, with your whisk attachment, sprinkle the cream of tartar on top of the egg whites and start whisking on medium speed until it gets frothy.
- Gradually add a spoonful of sugar at a time. Do not rush this step, as you want the sugar to fully dissolve.
- Once you’ve added all the sugar, leave the mixer as it is and get your baking tray ready. I don’t have a silicone mat at home, so I normally use baking paper, and draw a circle with about 15cm diameter on it. I grease both sides of the baking paper and stick the side with the drawing on the baking tray so the ink doesn’t bleed into my pavlova. Greasing or spraying both sides with oil will help release your pavlova later, and also stops the paper from moving around while you’re working on your pavlova. More importantly, this will prevent cracking. Set your baking tray aside and preheat your oven to 120C no fan.
- Keep whisking until all the sugar is dissolved, you should see a glossy white meringue at this stage. You can test this by pausing the whisking and feeling the meringue between your forefinger and thumb. If you can’t feel anymore sugar crystals, then your meringue is ready. The amount of time this takes, depends on how fine your sugar is. I normally use superfine caster sugar and it takes me about 18 minutes to get to this stage at medium speed. Normal granulated sugar would take much longer. Remember to be patient.
- When your meringue is finally at the right stage, fold in the vinegar. You can use any WHITE vinegar you have on hand. You want the pavlova as white as snow and coloured vinegar gives it a tint.
- Sift the cornflour on top of the meringue and fold in gently, until it’s incorporated. Now you’re ready to shape your meringue.
- Pile the meringue in the centre of your circle. Then push it down to shape it using the circle as your guide. This way, you won’t have any air pockets. You can also put the meringue in a piping bag and pipe it into the shape and design you like.
- Now it’s time to turn your meringue into a beautiful pavlova. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Do not open the door and once the hour is finished, turn the oven off and leave your pavlova in the oven to cool down for at least 2 hours. If your oven runs hot, or if you have a smaller oven, check that your pavlova is not getting any colour, if it is, turn down the oven to 100C.
- While your pavlova is baking, make the lemon cream: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatine over the lemon juice. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, gently heat the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the gelatine mixture and stir with a whisk until completely dissolved. Strain then add the lemon zest. Let the mixture set in the fridge in a 8x8 container or bigger, about 1-2 hours.
- When the lemon cream is set, whisk it until smooth. Set aside. Check that your pavlova is completely cool. Then prepare the toppings.
- Slice the peaches into wedges. Now carefully take your pavlova out and transfer it to your serving plate. Then start the assembly. Spoon the lemon cream on top and decorate with the fruit. You may also opt to serve some the toppings on the side if you don’t want your pavlova cracking. I wouldn’t worry too much about the cracks, it gives your pavlova character. Once you cut the pavlova open, you should see the contrast between the crispy shell and the soft meringue filling.
- I recommend using caster sugar when making meringue based desserts because it dissolves faster since it has smaller granules. If you don't have caster sugar, you can pulse your granulated sugar until it's finer in a food processor or blender.
- If you don't have fresh peaches, or it's out of season, you can use a good quality tinned peach in syrup.