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Pavlova | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pavlova

A pavlova is a study in perfect imperfection. It bakes into a delicate, smooth shell that collapses in the middle, begging for any manner of filling.
Watch my IGTV video to see how I make this!
Want to try mini pavlovas? You can watch me make those too.
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 150 g egg whites ~ about 5 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar optional. It will make the meringue stronger, especially if you have older, weaker egg whites
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar white wine, cider or distilled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275°F.
  • Trace a 6-inch circle on a piece of parchment and set it in a baking sheet.
  • Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt together until medium-stiff peaks.
  • Add the water slowly while whipping the whites on low speed. Drizzle in the sugar, then turn up the speed and whip until stiff peaks.
  • Fold in the vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch.
  • Mound the meringue into the circle on the parchment. Use a spatula to create the design in the meringue (see my pavlova video on instagram)
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until the meringue starts to turn a very pale tan color, then reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven (don't open the door), turn on the light in the oven (don't stress if the light doesn't work) and let the meringue sit in the cooling oven for at least an hour, but it can be stored like this over night.
  • The center of the pavlova will collapse, that's just the nature of the beast and where you will put your filling. The outer edge may crack a touch too, but I've made this shape several times and it generally only cracks a little if you do not open the oven door. The inside should be soft, but not at all wet.

Notes

Fillings: I filled my pavlova with whipped cream made with 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1-2 tablespoons confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. I topped the cream with 1 cup lemon curd and garnished with berries and passionfruit.