My Holiday Pavlova glistens with red and green fruit to make a sparkling presentation at any party. It has a crisp meringue crust and a soft marshmallowy center. Topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit this dessert is naturally gluten free making it an excellent choice for the whole family.
Gluten free cooks need to have a handful of naturally gluten free dessert recipes so they've always got options. Here are ten more and I didn't even include ice cream.
- Quinoa Chocolate Cake (and a German Chocolate version or Black Forest Cupcakes)
- Creme Brulee (and a pumpkin version)
- Poached Pears in Port
- Frozen Pumpkin Mousse
- Nutella Chocolate Mousse
- White Chocolate Mousse
- Mini Coconut Tartlets
Pavlova can be made as a large cake or as individual servings. Vary the filling with any seasonal fruit and it is truly a year round dessert.
- egg whites
- cream of tartar
- white vinegar
See recipe card for exact amounts.
Pavlova vs Meringue
Pavlova is a dessert made with a meringue base. It was named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920's. The actual origin of the dessert is widely disputed but it became popular and is now considered the national dessert in bothAustralia and New Zealand.
Once you've mastered the basic technique for making meringue you can make all kinds of desserts with it and from meringue cookies to an impressive layer cake. Vary the shape and size of the meringue and using different fillings (try homemade lemon curd) for a completely different dessert.
Tips For Making Meringue
A meringue dessert is made from whipped egg whites, sugar (either granulated or icing sugar), an acid (cream of tartar and/or vinegar) and a binding agent (cornstarch or corn flour). When baked the meringue develops a crisp crust with a soft, light inside.
Meringue is easy to make but there are a few tips you should know. Follow these and you will make a successful meringue the first time you try it!
- Eggs are easiest to separate when cold, but should be at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before beating
- Stainless steel or glass bowls work best for beating egg whites, avoid plastic bowls
- The bowl, beaters and spatula should be clean, dry and grease-free
- Any yolk, even a tiny fleck, will affect the ability of the egg white to increase in volume. If you have a bit of yolk in with the whites remove it all or start over.
- Humidity prevents egg whites from expanding so recipes often suggest not making meringue on high humidity days. I live in a dry climate so have never had this problem but now you know.
Cream of Tartar Substitute
Cream of tartar is one of those rarely used ingredients. Everyone I know either has a box older than their children or they refuse to buy it.
Recipes calling for cream of tartar also call for baking soda. Together they act as a leavener. Try this substitute if you don't want to buy cream of tartar.
|Cream of Tartar Substitute: Use 2 teaspoon of baking powder to replace 1 tsp cream of tartar & ½ teaspoon baking soda.
If you bought the cream of tartar then plan to make these Cinnamon Snickerdoodles too.
Get The Tools
You need the most basic kitchen tools to make meringues and pavlova.
- Everyday home cooks appreciate the help of a hand mixer or a stand mixer for beating egg whites. If you're a chef in training feel free to use a balloon whisk and a copper bowl to beat those egg whites by hand!
- To make meringues in any shape you want simply draw the shape onto parchment then turn the paper over onto a baking sheet. Spread or pipe the meringue following the lines you drew. Bake as directed.
Let me know in the comments below if you were inspired to make meringues or pavlova. If you have a picture I'd love to see it.
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- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
- 2-3 cups chopped fresh fruit
- GARNISH - icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- Cover baking pan with parchment paper. Using a pencil draw a circle, square or rectangle on the paper to make a meringue that will fit the serving dish you choose. Flip the paper over so the pencil is on the underside.
- Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together in a bowl until the whites hold stiff peaks.
- Add sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating until mixture is stiff and glossy.
- Beat in the cornstarch then the vinegar.
- Spread meringue mixture onto the shape you have drawn to make a base.
- Fill piping bag or zipper bag with some of the meringue mixture and pipe an edge all around the base. Repeat to get the height you desire refilling the piping bag as needed.
- Pipe any remaining meringue into small shapes and bake with larger meringue base.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes or until meringue is firm and slightly browned.
- Turn off oven and allow to cool completely in the oven with the door ajar.
- In electric mixer whip cream to soft peaks. Add vanilla and beat until stiff.
- Just before serving fill the meringue with whipped cream.
- Top with fruit of your choice. Dust with icing sugar if desired and serve.