Serves a Crowd

Fancy Pavlova

November  9, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Pavlova is crispy on the outside but light and fluffy inside and is believed to have been created to honour Anna Pavlova during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand. The exact location of its first creation and the nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two countries for many years. New Zealand claims invention though, as a printed copy of the recipe appeared in 1929. It's a favourite Thanksgiving alternative to pie at my house.

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: SweetTea is an avid traveler and restaurant veteran -- she owned a restaurant in New Zealand before moving to the United States.
WHAT: A sweet, creamy pavlova that's fancy in all the right places.
HOW: You make a pavlova that's airy but soft, fill it with a mascarpone mixture, roll it up like a log, and top it with berries.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is the perfect party dessert; it's impressive, it's unexpected, AND it can be made ahead. —The Editors

  • Serves 8 to 10
  • for the cake
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup double-cream or heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons icing (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grand marnier
  • 7 egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting
  • for the berry compote
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups raspberries (these may be thawed frozen ones)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries (these should be fresh)
In This Recipe
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine mascarpone, cream, icing sugar, and grand marnier. Cover with some plastic wrap and refrigerate to firm up slightly.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together sugar and cornflour; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 320F (160C).
  4. Grease with shortening the base of a jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray (you really, really don't want this to stick!) Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, with electric beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly begin adding the sugar cornstarch mixture while continuously whipping. Continue whipping until thick and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved. Gently fold in the vinegar.
  6. Spread the egg white mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or just until firm. Remove from oven and set aside for 3 minutes to rest.
  7. Remove from oven and set aside for 3 minutes to rest. Lay a clean tea towel on your work surface. Top with a large sheet of baking paper and dust with extra powdered sugar. Turn your pavlova out onto the baking paper, gently peel away the paper on which it was baked. Set aside to continue cooling.
  8. Spread chilled mascarpone mixture along the long side of meringue closest to you. Carefully roll pavlova, using the paper and tea towel as a guide, to enclose the filling. Keep pavlova wrapped in baking powder and tea towel. Transfer pavlova roll to a tray and place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to set.
  9. Make berry compote: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2 minutes longer or until thickened slightly.
  10. Place the sugar syrup, 2 cups raspberries and their juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
  11. When ready to serve, transfer pavlova roll onto a serving platter. Remove paper and tea towel. Top pavlova roll with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Drizzle with half the raspberry coulis. Cut into slices to serve with remaining raspberry coulis.

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