How to make the perfect Pavlova – read my ‘pavlova how to’ for perfect results every time! Plus a recipe for Pavlova crowns with whipped cream, lemon curd and fresh berries.
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4.89 from 9 votes

The Perfect Pavlova

Pavlova with whipped cream, lemon curd and fresh berries. This recipe will make two small pavlovas (15cm/6in) or one large 20cm (8in). Since the pavlova needs time to cool it is best baked a day or several hours in advance.
Make sure to read the step by step guide and FAQs in the main post before making your first pavlova. Please note that oven temperatures are given in both Celsius and Fahrenheit - pick the right one for your oven/location.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Cooling5 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Continental
Keyword: Layered pavlova, Perfect Pavlova, Strawberry Pavlova
Servings: 8
Calories: 524kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes

Equipment

Ingredients

For the pavlova

  • 180 ml | 1 ¼ cup egg whites from 6 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 360 g | 12.6 oz caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornflour cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

To fill and decorate

  • 500 g | 2 cups double cream
  • 125 g | 1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 6 tbsp lemon or passionfruit curd OPTIONAL
  • 300g | 10 ½ oz fresh berries (one large punnet of berries)
  • icing sugar to dust (powdered sugar)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to to 130C (270F) and place the shelf in the middle or lower end of the oven. Line a large tray with greaseproof paper and trace a 20cm (8in) circle on it.
  • Wipe your mixer bowl with lemon juice. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the mixing bowl and briefly mix together with a balloon whisk to combine.
  • Start whisking on LOW SPEED until the egg whites start to form large and then smaller bubbles and become foamy.
  • Continue whisking on medium-low speed until the egg whites have formed soft peaks. Start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time while whisking on medium speed. Be patient, it can take as long as 10 minutes for all the sugar to be incorporated.
  •  Increase the speed to medium high and continue whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Feel a small amount of meringue between your fingers – if it feels gritty then the sugar hasn’t fully dissolved yet.
  • Continue to whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved and the meringue is stiff and glossy.
  • Add the lemon juice (or vinegar), cornflour and vanilla paste and whisk them in for 30 seconds.
  • Pile the meringue on your tray, quite high, to fill the circle you traced. Use an offset spatula to shape it, making a small indent in the centre. Alternatively you can pipe the meringue instead of freestyling for a more structured look.
  • Bake for 10 minutes then REDUCE oven temperature to 90°C (195°F)*. Bake for a further 80 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova to cool inside the oven for several hours or overnight to avoid cracks. At this point you can store the cooled meringue shells in an airtight container for several days.
    *** READERS BAKING AT HIGH ALTITUDE: Bake at 110°C (230°F).
  • Whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract until you have soft to medium peaks.
  • Ripple the lemon curd into the whipped cream and fill the pavlova once you are ready to serve (do not fill in advance).
  • Pile a handful of fresh berries over the top and serve with a dusting of icing sugar.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 1120IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.1mg