A Classic Pavlova Recipe

A pavlova on a white plate, covered in berries
A Classic Pavlova/Photo by David Prince

Courtesy Esther Rodriguez, pastry chef, The Ravenous Pig, Orlando, Florida

The Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert said to be named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova’s tutu, has an excellent effort-to-payoff ratio. Its simplicity, however, means that technique is key to ensure a crisp exterior and marshmallow-like center. At The Ravenous Pig, this Pavlova is often served with a variety of fruit.

A Berry Eton Mess
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 3 cups berries or other chopped fruit
  • Mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 350˚F.

Using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue to whip, slowly adding sugar, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla, and whip until just incorporated.

Working quickly, transfer mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into circle, about 8 inches in diameter. With spoon, create shallow dip in center of circle. Place in oven and reduce heat to 200˚F. Bake until firm to the touch, about 1 hour, 20 minutes. Turn heat off and let Pavlova cool in oven, at least 2 hours.

To serve, whip cream to stiff peaks and spoon into center of Pavlova. Arrange fruit and mint leaves, if using, on top. Serves 6–8.

Wine Pairing

Royal Tokaji 2013 5 Puttonyos Aszú Red Label (Tokaji). “The floral notes of the wine complement the Pavlova’s delicate flavor, while its creamy body mirrors the dessert’s texture,” says Scott Geisler, general manager/sommelier of The Ravenous Pig. “And its crisp acidity goes well with the fruit and mitigates the wine’s sweetness.”

Published on November 13, 2019

The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories