This blueberry pavlova, in my opinion, is the perfect indulgent dessert to finish any meal. A crispy outer shell and a fluffy marshmallow centre, topped with pillows of whipped cream and fresh blueberries.
Pavlova was named after the famous Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova during her tour of New Zealand and Australia in the 1920s. Our family have been making it for generations and loving it.
Making a pavlova sounds like a daunting task but don’t be afraid to give it a go, it comes together with only a few ingredients and it just requires a little patience in the baking process.
If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂
- EASE: Easy.
- FREE FROM: Gluten free, nut free.
- GREAT FOR: Weekend baking, friends and family visiting.
- TASTE: Sweet meringue with cream and tart fruit.
- TEXTURE: Crisp outside with a melt-in-the-mouth fluffy, light marshmallows centre, smothered in cream and fruit.
- QUANTITY: 10 slices
- TIME: 2 hours 50 minutes
For this blueberry pavlova recipe all you need are these 8 ingredients:
- Egg whites – are the main ingredient for our meringue. They need to be at room temperature.
- Caster or icing sugar – is preferred when whisking with egg whites. Granulated sugar can be too heavy for the air in the egg whites.
- Pure vanilla extract or paste – adds flavour to the meringue and enhances the other ingredients. Avoid vanilla essence in this recipe, as you will need to use far too much to be able to taste it.
- Lemon juice – is added to stabilise the meringue. Alternatively, you can use apple vinegar or cream of tartar.
- Cornflour (US – cornstarch) – is optional but it creates the soft centre in the pavlova.
- Whipping cream (US – heavy cream) – is the perfect marriage for this meringue, or you can also use double cream.
- Whole blueberries – made into a compote are just delicious, use fresh or frozen.
I highly recommend adding a good pinch of salt to your desserts. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bring out the best characteristics of any recipe. In a seemingly absurd or contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouths ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells in our tongue. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds. I recommend Maldon Sea salt flakes or Cornish sea salt.
WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE?
- The meringue – can also be flavoured with freeze-dried fruits.
- Curds – are a great alternative to using cream. I particularly like lemon or orange curd on top.
- Different fresh fruits – can be used or compotes.
- Decorate – with icing sugar, chocolate shavings or chopped nuts.
If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.
Serving: one slice
Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.
I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.
I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
STORAGE AND FREEZING OPTIONS
This dessert will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, but it will absorb moisture and lose its crispness. If you want to make the meringue in advance, once baked keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.
Freezing: Once the meringue shell is baked it can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To defrost, place the container in the fridge overnight.
Once decorated with the filling, the pavlova should be served immediately.
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For this recipe, it is ideal to have an electric hand whisk or stand mixer. Other recommendations include:
TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.
Sugar ratio – is important if you want to get a really good French meringue. A ratio of 2:1, sugar to egg is ideal. I have estimated the amount of sugar for 4 egg whites in this recipe, which works – but if you want to get it as close to perfect as possible you should weigh the egg whites and then use double the amount of sugar. (For example: 1 egg white weighs 33g = 66g sugar)
Whisking egg whites – you should always start with a large spotless clean bowl and ensure that no egg yolk or grease can come into contact with them. It is also important to use eggs that are not too fresh and at room temperature. The protein in fresh eggs is really tight, meaning it will take much longer to whisk them and you may end up over whisking them.
Cracks – are not always avoidable and there is nothing wrong with that. To get the best crisp shell and soft centre, we bake at a low temperature and cool it in the oven turned off for 40-50 minutes. This dries out the meringue avoiding major cracks, then we remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Let the pavlova cool completely before assembling.
- 4 medium egg whites
- 260 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp of vanilla paste (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon Juice (apple vinegar, or cream of tartar)
- 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) (US – cornstarch)
- 250 ml whipping cream (heavy cream)
- 250 g fresh or frozen blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Weigh out your ingredients at the start to make it a little easier to prepare.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment and draw a circle of the desired size you wish the final meringue to be. I used a 20cm (8inch) base of a springform pan to draw around, a plate also works.
- Meringue: In a large clean mixing bowl or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until they start to form soft peaks.
- Keep mixing and gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, allowing the egg whites to incorporate the sugar slowly and remain stable. If you add the sugar too quickly the egg whites will collapse.
- Once all the sugar is added, continue whisking until the egg whites form stiff peaks (holds its shape when pulling out the whisk) and the sugar has dissolved (rub a little of the mix between your finger and thumb and you should not be able to feel any sugar grains).
- Whisk in the lemon juice, vanilla and cornflour.
- Preheat the oven to 130°C fan / 265F / Gas 1/2.
- Spoon the meringue into the centre of your drawn circle and smooth it out into a cake shape. An optional extra is to pipe some small meringues to decorate: Use a star nozzle to pipe 6-8 small meringues onto some baking paper. Place them in the oven when the large meringue only has 30 minutes remaining to bake.
- Use a small pallet knife or spoon and draw up at an angle from the bottom edge to the top. Work your way around the outside edge until you have gone all the way around.
- Baking: Place the meringue on the middle shelf and then turn down the oven to 100°C fan / 212F / Gas 1/4 for another 90 minutes.
- Once baked, turn off the oven and leave to cool inside for 40 minutes. Then remove and leave on the side to cool completely.
- Decoration: Whip the cream until you get soft peaks. Once the meringue has cooled, gently tap around the centre to create a hole. Fill the hole with some of the fruit and then top with the whipped cream. Finally, add the remaining blueberries or blueberry compote and serve.If you are using fresh fruit you can also dust with icing sugar before serving.
- Optional blueberry compote: In a small saucepan bring half the blueberries to a boil with the 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Let it boil for 3-5 minutes and then remove from the heat to cool. Once cooled, I like to blend the blueberry mixture to make a nice sauce which I then add my remaining whole blueberries to. Leave to cool and then spoon over the cream.
Notes & Tips
- Sugar ratio – is important if you want to get a really good French meringue. A ratio of 2:1, sugar to egg is ideal. I have estimated the amount of sugar for 4 egg whites in this recipe, which works – but if you want to get it as close to perfect as possible you should weigh the egg whites and then use double the amount of sugar. (For example: 1 egg white weighs 33g = 66g sugar)
- Whisking egg whites – you should always start with a large spotless clean bowl and ensure that no egg yolk or grease can come into contact with them. It is also important to use eggs that are not too fresh and at room temperature. The protein in fresh eggs is really tight, meaning it will take much longer to whisk them and you may end up over whisking them.
- Cracks – are not always avoidable and there is nothing wrong with that. To get the best crisp shell and soft centre, we bake at a low temperature and cool it in the oven turned off for 40-50 minutes. This dries out the meringue avoiding major cracks, then we remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Let the pavlova cool completely before assembling.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT FOR YOU!
If you tried this Blueberry Pavlova or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!
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