Learn how to make the perfect Aussie pavlova for your Christmas celebration. Featuring a meringue base, whipped cream and fresh fruit, what’s not to love?
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Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm disc onto the paper. Turn the paper over so the drawn disc is underneath. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Ensure bowl is clean, as any fat or spot of egg yolk can prevent egg whites from fluffing up.
Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, beating well after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar is completely dissolved. Rub a little between your fingers – if the mixture is still gritty, continue whisking until sugar dissolves. Add the vinegar and cornflour and gently fold to combine.
Spoon meringue onto tray. Use a spatula to shape into a disc, using the circle as a guide. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until dry to touch. Turn off oven, leave door ajar and allow to cool completely – this stops the pavlova cracking. Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon onto pav. Top with fruit and mint.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Use it up: Keep the discarded egg yolks to make sweet and savoury recipes like a custard tart, hollandaise sauce or a homemade authentic carbonara. Leftover passionfruit and mango can be used in juices and smoothies, and leftover pineapple can be used on pizzas or in fruit salads.
No Aussie Christmas celebration is complete without the iconic pavlova. While there is some controversy over whether this meringue-based dessert originated from either Australia or New Zealand, this impressive sweet treat is most commonly enjoyed in both countries around the festive season. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying it year-round.
Featuring a simple, airy meringue base topped with thickened cream and finished with in-season fruit such as passionfruit, mango and berries, your guests will be asking for seconds of this 6-egg pavlova recipe. Although you will find store-bought bases available to purchase for convenience, the benefits of learning how to make a pavlova base can mean saving money due to the simplicity of the ingredients, a sense of accomplishment and bringing friends and families together for a fun activity.
For more ideas to make your festive feast memorable, see our collection of Christmas dessert recipes.
Arguably, the hero of a DIY pavlova is nailing the base. The result should be a crisp crust that melts in your mouth and pillow, marshmallow-like within.
For the perfect pavlova base, use eggs at room temperature. Using cold egg whites can mean a reduced meringue volume and can take longer to whip. To separate the egg whites from the yolks, gently crack the eggs as close to the middle as possible. Pry the two halves apart and slowly transfer the yolk between the egg shells, allowing the egg whites to drip away into a bowl below. There must be no traces of yolks when making a pavlova.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites with sugar in a clean, dry bowl. You are looking for a glossy, aerated consistency. You’ll know it’s ready when the meringue stands up straight and doesn’t move when the bowl can be held upside down.
Once you’ve nailed how to make meringue, you can use these skills to create different shapes and creations like these cute meringue pops, sweet and summery meringue nests or pretty mini meringues to decorate cakes and tarts.
‘Why did my homemade pavlova base crack?’ One of the common issues home bakers encounter when making an egg white meringue is cracked pavlova bases. This can occur when the oven temperature is too high, over beating the egg whites and not adding vinegar to the mixture.
Other concerns can include a soft and sticky base or issues over the egg white mixture not stiffening. This can be caused when the egg whites haven’t been whipped for long enough before the sugar is added, or the sugar has been added too quickly. Problems can also occur if there is water or egg yolks present in the bowl.
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