From the Archives: Summer Berry Pavolova

August 1, 2010 at 10:32 am 18 comments

Summer Berry Pavlova

Years after this post was originally put up on the blog, I’m still as smitten with this pillowy dessert as ever!  My own blueberry bush, growing in a five-gallon pot on my deck, produced a bumper crop this year.  I knew I needed to pull up this recipe from the archives and show it to you again.  In addition to the blueberries, a neighboring gardener gifted me with beautiful and sweet raspberries and blackberries. And of course the eggs are farm fresh from free range chickens.   Delicious!  

Eggs and Berries  

From the Archives  

There’s something magical about summer twilights.   And something even more magical about fresh blueberries on 4th of July celebration desserts.  I have many a fond memory of eating homemade ice cream topped with fresh blueberries and then running through dewy grass in the twilight with sparklers or chasing lightning bugs.    

Berries in a teacup  

I first came across fresh fruit pavlova while living in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  I can remember everything about the scene of my first bite – it was that delightful.  A crisp shell of a meringue with a melt-y middle topped with ever-so-slightly sweet fresh whipped cream and (for that first encounter) kiwis and blueberries spilling off the plate.   If ever the heavens should point a sunbeam directly on my head and issue forth an angelic chorus, it should have been at the moment of my first bite in that roadside Irish inn.     

Blueberries and Pavolova   

Since then, I’ve learned this dessert really hails from New Zealand and was named after a Russian ballerina so I think it classifies as an international dish even though there’s nothing regionally distinctive in its flavors.  Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe directions.  It really is just a lot of mixing and that’s all.  These little puffs of marshmallow-y delight are well worth the 20 minutes of shouting required to be heard over the mixer.   


Summer Berry Pavlova with Fork  


6 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2  c. sugar
1/2  t. cream of tartar 
1 1/2  T. cornstarch
1/4 t.  freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2  t. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg

1 carton of heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. sugar or Splenda (Splenda recommended as it dissolves better)
2 pints fresh seasonal berries

Preheat the oven to 225 F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature.  If you didn’t have time to let them sit out beforehand, place bowl of egg whites inside another large bowl filled with warm water for 15 minutes.  Using the room temperature egg whites, begin beating them on low speed with an electric mixer (just a word to the wise, don’t attempt this recipe without some type of electric mixer as it takes a great deal of whipping).   Add the cream of tartar, pinch of salt and nutmeg to the mixer and continue at low speed for 3 to 4 minutes.   

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Measure out the sugar and add to it the corn starch and nutmeg, mixing these three ingredients in the measuring cup.  Set aside for later.   

Returning to the egg whites in the mixer, increase the speed to medium and soft peaks should begin to appear after another 2 minutes or so.  Increase the mixer’s speed another notch or two.  Begin to slowly add the sugar mixture, sprinkling in just a few tablespoons at a time.  Let mix for 2 or 3 minutes more.   Slowly add the vanilla extract and increase the mixer speed to the highest setting.  A glossy sheen should be appearing and the whites should become increasingly stiff.  Once “stiff” peaks form, turn off the mixer and remove the bowl.   

On the lined baking sheet, place heaping spoonfuls of meringue and flatten down slightly, creating a shallow indent in the center.  Leave plenty of room between spoonfuls as the meringue spreads and rises quite a bit.  You should be able to get six on a sheet.   Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, checking on them about half way through to make sure the meringues are not coloring or cracking.  Remove from oven when meringues are crisp and dry to the touch but still relatively white in color.  You don’t want these to get golden like typical meringues on pies.  Gently lift the meringues off the parchment paper and place on a wire rack or kitchen towel to cool.   If you don’t want to use them right away, store meringues in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.    

To serve pavlovas, whip heavy cream with 1/4 c. sugar/Splenda until firm, but not stiff.  Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of each meringue and top with a generous handful of fresh berries.  Serve immediately.    

(makes 8-10 servings) 


Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , , .

Homemade Cream Puffs Summer Fruit Cobbler

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. We all scream for … Gelato « Straight from the Farm  |  August 16, 2007 at 10:18 am

    […] Through some online searching I’ve learned that gelato has a milk, cream, sugar, and egg base somewhat like ice cream, with gelato usually having more eggs and milk and less cream. Sorbet is a fruit/syrup base, though it seems that not everyone names their recipes accordingly. After comparing six different gelato base recipes, I’ve developed the following recipe for cantaloupe gelato. If you follow this recipe, you may want to then use your egg whites for Jennie’s Blueberry Pavlova. […]

  • 2. Chocolate Pavlova « Straight from the Farm  |  May 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    […] I hope it’s not too pretentious to quote myself, but I really want to tell this story again since there are so many more of you reading now than when I first wrote it: […]

  • 3. Food-Fitness-FreshAir  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Once again, astonishing pictures. Of course alongside what looks to be a delicious seasonal recipe. I love all of the things you can pair with fresh berries, simply because they’re so deilcious in themselves.

  • 4. Diana @ frontyardfoodie  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    You had me at summer berries……………

  • 5. oneordinaryday  |  August 2, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Those photos certainly convinced me that this dessert couldn’t be less than perfect.

  • 6. Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking  |  August 4, 2010 at 1:14 am

    You just gave me a brilliant idea! I’m looking for something to make for a Swedish dinner that I’m making for my friends later this week. I think I’m gonna make a pavalova with Swedish berries! Yes, that is what I’m gonna do!

  • 7. Tonya @ What's On My Plate  |  August 4, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Gorgeous photo!

    I made pavlovas for the first time a year or two ago and loved it!

  • 8. Chef Dennis  |  August 4, 2010 at 7:00 am

    what a gorgeous pavlova!! I have never made meringue but I am going to have to try soon! It would be such a nice dessert to serve my girls!

  • 9. Sheila Kiely  |  August 4, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Photographs are fabulous. I made pavlova recently using soft brown sugar and it brings a toffee chewy crunch.

  • 10. susan  |  August 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I’ve never used Splenda before…thanks for this tip. Beautiful dessert!

  • 11. christine  |  August 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I love your photos! Those berries look like they could jump off the screen straight into my mouth 😉 I wish they would! Congrats on making the top 9!

  • 12. Maria  |  August 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I have never had a pavlova before and I am really curious to try. Lovely pictures, looks so good!

  • 13. Kim - Liv Life  |  August 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Pavlova… one of our favorite summer treats! I’ve never layered it with whipped cream before, excellent idea. I’m envious of your farm fresh ingredients! Beautiful shots and Congrats on the Top 9!

  • 14. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking  |  August 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, that is just lovely! What a beautiful summer dessert. Great job!

  • 15. becky and the beanstock  |  August 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    It’s the very, very tail end of blueberry season here — such a mixed thing. sad to see them go, but have to admit to looking forward to the fall crop (and i’m so ready for the fall weather too). this is such a lovely way to send off the berry season — thanks for digging it out of the archive, as i missed it the first time around.

  • 16. Madame Fromage  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make a pavlova, but usually I can’t resist eating the berries first. This inspires me though. I might try Sheila’s idea of using brown sugar to get that toffee flavor.

    Beautiful blog — photos and writing. Thanks for including me in your blogroll!

  • 17. Mindy  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    A search for pear preserves recipes brought me here, and I have spent all evening going back as far as Feb. 09 while salivating and copying and pasting. I didn’t read every post, but oh, my! how I drooled over the pictures. I will be back and read more than the recipes soon.

  • 18. Pandaranol From the Archives: Summer Berry Pavolova  |  November 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

    […] Straight from the Farm […]


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