I love meringues and pavlovas and, as you would expect, I have lots of meringue recipes. Home-made meringues are crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Very different from dry shop-bought meringues! You can also experiment with the flavours. How about some Rose Meringues?
Pavlovas look impressive but they are really easy to make. You can also make the meringue base in advance and just assemble the pavlova when you are ready to eat it.
Strawberry Pavlova is an easy, make-ahead, show-stopping dessert recipe. It tastes delicious with the classic combination of strawberries, cream and meringue. With its crisp meringue, billows of whipped cream and juicy strawberries, it also looks beautiful and makes a great centrepiece for a buffet or celebration meal. It is best eaten soon after it has been assembled but you can keep any left over pieces in the fridge for up to a couple of days.
What you need to know about Strawberry Pavlova
Adding the cornflour and lemon juice helps to stabilise the meringue and ensure that your pavlova is crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside.
You can make your pavlova any shape you like. Just spoon the meringue mixture into your desired shape. I generally make mine either round or oval but have occasionally made one heart-shaped.
It is important to cook the pavlova and a very low heat. Check towards the end of the cooking time to make sure that it is not starting to turn light brown which is a sign that it is over-cooked. Once the pavlova has finished cooking, open the oven door and leave it to cool in the oven. This should prevent cracking.
It is important to allow your pavlova to cool completely before adding the cream and strawberries. I generally make mine the day before I serve them. They keep very well at room temperature if covered in cling-film or foil.
You should add the cream and strawberries just before you are ready to serve the pavlova. If you add them a long time in advance, they will make the meringue soggy.
It is possible to get sweet and full-flavoured strawberries. However, sometimes they do not taste so good. If you have some flavourless strawberries, cut them in half and put in a bowl with a sprinkling of caster sugar and leave for about an hour before spooning them on to the pavlova.
Cranberry Pavlova – a meringue-based festive dessert
This Cranberry Pavlova is the perfect light and creamy, meringue-based festive dessert. It is made using left-over Fresh Cranberry Sauce which makes it super-easy to put together.
I always have a family lunch on Boxing Day and serve this pavlova as one of the desserts using sauce prepared for Christmas lunch. It is the perfect dessert for those who have eaten too much Christmas Pudding and want something which is still festive but is a bit lighter!
Making Fresh Cranberry Sauce is really quick and easy. If you haven’t got any left over, it is a matter of minutes to make it from scratch. It is a great accompaniment to a festive meal – either a traditional turkey dinner or a vegetarian alternative. Even better, it can be used as an ingredient in a range of desserts. I will often have some left over if I have made it as a meal accompaniment and sometimes in the summer I make a batch just to make desserts! You just have to make sure that the sauce has time to cool down before it is used to top your pavlova.
Fruit with flavour – cranberry, rhubarb and gooseberry
I love fruit which have a good balance of sharp and sweet flavour. Often, as with this recipe, they need to cooked to bring out their zingy flavour. In addition cranberries, I think rhubarb and gooseberries are both under-rated. If you share my love of a good old-fashioned sharp and sweet fruit recipe, you might like my Rhubarb Fool, Rhubarb Roulade or Gooseberry and Elderflower Sorbet.
One of the great things about pavlova is that while it has that show-stopping, celebratory vibe, they are actually extremely simple to produce even for inexperienced cooks. It is easy to make the meringue a day in advance and then assembling the pavlova takes a matter of minutes. I make loads of them at Christmas and New Year. In addition to my Cranberry Pavlova, some of my other favourites include Strawberry Pavlova, Rose and Raspberry Pavlova and Lemon Pavlova.
Lemon Pavlova, what’s not to like? I love lemon and I love meringue, so for me this is pretty much the perfect dessert. Even better, it is really easy to make! One of the great things about pavlovas is that while they have that show-stopping, celebratory vibe, they are actually extremely simple to produce even for inexperienced cooks. Another of my favourites is Rose and Raspberry Pavlova which is a twist on a more traditional pavlova recipe.
This recipe for Lemon Pavlova first came into my family through my Aunt Pat who led a rather glamorous life as a literary agent in the 1950s and 1960s. Part of her not-terribly-onerous job involved taking trips from London to New York in order to meet authors and publishers. Needless to say, food and copious amounts of alcohol figured prominently during these visits. This Lemon Pavlova was made for Aunt Pat by an admirer who lived in New York. Despite the Pavlova, the relationship didn’t last but the recipe became a firm family favourite. I always think of it as a kind of deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie but without the pie! I think it is brilliant as just having the lemon and the meringue makes it a much lighter dessert.
Lovely Lemon Curd…
The lemon flavour in this Pavlova is provided by Lemon Curd. If you are pushed for time, you can, if you must, use shop-bought Lemon Curd. However, the Lemon Pavlova will truly be so much better if you use home-made Lemon Curd. It only takes ten minutes to make and my Easy Lemon Curd Recipe is fool-proof. Once you’ve made it, it keeps in the fridge for three weeks and can be used in lots of different ways – as a spread, as a cake filling and, of course, as a dessert ingredient. My recipe for easy Lemon Curd Ice Cream is also a great way to use Lemon Curd – home-made or shop bought!
Get in touch with your girly side with this pretty-in-pink Raspberry Pavlova. Sometimes, even the least girly of us (and I include myself in that description) feel a need to embrace pink. If you feel a girly mood coming on, this Raspberry Pavlova, with delicate pink rose-flavoured meringue could be the answer!
Raspberry and rose is a classic flavour combination. In this Pavlova, the meringue is flavoured with rosewater and topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. The slightly sharp flavour of the raspberries is an excellent contrast with the sweetly floral meringue.
Pavlova is my go-to dessert for celebrations of all kinds. It is very easy to make, can be prepared in advance, looks impressive and is not too heavy so is perfect as a summer dessert. If you like the recipe for this Raspberry Pavlova, you may also like my classic Pavlova , my Rose Meringues and my classic Meringues.
If you are making any of my meringue-based recipes, you might also check out my ice-cream recipes such as Lavender Ice-cream, Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone or Elderflower Ice-cream. You need four egg whites for this recipe which means you will have four spare egg yolks. As I hate waste, I pretty much always make some form of ice-cream when I make any type of meringue. Very conveniently, all my ice-cream recipes require four egg yolks.
I would not say that I am a particulary girly person. However, sometimes, the mood hits me to make something pretty and pink and Rose Meringues is my go-to recipe.
These lovely rose flavoured meringues are a delicate shell pink. They are crisp on the outside and gooey inside and I like to serve them sandwiched together with billowing whipped cream. I think Rose Meringues go particularly well with raspberries, which have a strong slightly tart flavour that complements their sugary floral taste. Dark pink raspberries also look pretty with the pale pink meringues. If you have a few rose petals to strew around on the plate, so much the better!
My meringue recipe needs four egg whites and my basic ice-cream recipe needs four egg yolks. Therefore, as I hate waste, when I make meringues I generally make ice-cream too. If you are making these meringues and want to make ice-cream too (and why not, frankly?), there are lots of lovely home-made ice-cream recipes that you could try such as Elderflower Ice-cream, Rhubarb Curd and Rose Ice-cream or Mango and Lime Ice-cream.
These pretty pink meringues are flavoured with rose and accompanied by fresh raspberries and whipped cream.
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons rosewater
A little pink food colouring (optional)
225 g caster sugar
Set the oven to 140 C/275F or Gas Mark 1.
Cover two baking sheets with baking parchment. Spread a very thin film of flavourless oil, such as rapeseed oil, on the baking parchment (the best way is to rub it over the parchment with your fingers and then remove the excess with a piece of kitchen towel).
Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 teaspoons of rosewater and a little food colouring (if using) to the egg whites and whisk again until very stiff and shiny.
Fold in the rest of the sugar.
Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment. You can make your meringues small, medium or large depending on the size spoon you use – teaspoon, dessert spoon or tablespoon.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake until they are hard on the outside but still gooey in the middle. This will take between an hour and an hour and a half.