A Pavlova is simply a meringue with a few tweaks to the recipe that create a crisp exterior and marshmallowy interior texture. An Individual Pavlova Recipe depends on the size of the Pavlova dessert one wants. Use a piping bag with tip of choice to create mini pavlovas. One can also create pavlova mounds and shape it with an offset spatula. This individual Pavlova Recipe that I’ve written below creates a 6 small to 4 medium sized Pavlova bowls.
A Pavlova is a delicate meringue based dessert that one can decorate with fruit, flavored pastry cream, whipped cream, or sauces. Keep in mind that Pavlovas, when all the other add-ons are present, has a tendency to dissolve. The meringue shells on it’s own will last for hours to weeks in room temperature depending on storage and humidity.
Assemble the Pavlova fruit and cream dessert 15 minutes before serving. Consider using the cream as a buffer between fruits and pavlova since fruits have moisture that can affect the pavlova’s structure.
How to decorate a Pavlova
- Use an offset spatula to create Pavlova discs
- For bowls, make a pavlova mound, gently lift sides with offset spatula
- Correct layering prior to serving is pavlova – cream – fruit
- Avoid letting fruit touch pavlova directly
Note: The use of caster sugar and cream of tartar is not necessary. Use a food processor for regular sugar to make the granules finer.
Traditional recipes – Australian or New Zealand – calls for the use of caster sugar and cream of tartar. The cream of tartar is an acidic component in the Pavlova that “keeps the pavlova from deflating” and possibly helps create a firmer pavlova. The caster sugar is a superfine sugar used by pastry shops and pastry chefs because it dissolves faster when creating desserts. Here is a recipe by Emily Stephens of My Great Recipes that uses both ingredients above.
It took several tries to create the bowl with vertical ridged lines on the sides using an offset spatula. Zoe Bakes, an amazing dessert creator, has an Instagram video of how to create the effect. You can visit Zoe Bakes here
Individual Pavlova Recipe
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar - sifted
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Pre heat oven to 280 degrees F
- Wipe down tools and utensils with vinegar
- on parchment paper, trace circles - depending on preferred size of pavlova
- Remember to put pencil side down on baking sheet
- Pulse regular sugar in a food processor (5 to 10 times) to make the granules finer
- In a mixer bowl, whisk egg whites at full speed until foamy white
- Start adding spoonfuls of sugar gradually until mixture is stiff
- Mixture should be glossy and create stiff peaks
- In a separate bowl, dissolve cornstarch in vinegar
- Gently fold cornstarch and vinegar mixture in the meringue
- Mound meringue on parchment and shape with offset spatula
- Place the meringue/pavlovas in the oven
- Turn heat down to 260 degrees F
- Bake for 45 minutes - don't open oven door!
- Turn off oven - don't open oven door!
- Leave Pavlovas be for at least 3 hours to overnight