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Recipe

Fresh Berry Pavlova

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6 to 8

The baked meringue shell for this classic Australian dessert is crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, and its slightly concave center makes a natural bowl for whipped cream and fruit. In this version, Greek yogurt adds a little tang to the traditional sweet-cream filling. The recipe makes one glorious pavlova, but you can easily make individual shells by shaping the meringue into six 4-inch circles, each about 1-1/2 inches high, and baking for about 1 hour total.

Ingredients

For the meringue shell

  • 1-1/4 cups plus 2 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice or white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt

For the filling

  • 2 pints mixed fresh berries or hulled, sliced strawberries (about 4 cups)
  • 3 Tbs. granulated superfine sugar
  • 2 Tbs. orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 320
      Fat Calories (kcal): 130
      Fat (g): 15
      Saturated Fat (g): 9
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4
      Cholesterol (mg): 55
      Sodium (mg): 115
      Carbohydrates (g): 45
      Fiber (g): 1
      Protein (g): 4

Preparation

Make the shell

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw an 8-inch circle in the center of the parchment, and then turn the paper over (you’ll still see the circle).
  • Mix 2 tsp. of the sugar with the cornstarch and set it aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer), beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1-1/4 cups sugar, about 1 Tbs. at a time, taking 2 to 3 minutes to add it. Sprinkle in the cornstarch-sugar mixture, then add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form, another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pile the meringue onto the parchment circle and use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it into an 8-inch round, about 2-1/2 inches high around the edge with a slightly concave center.
  • Put the meringue in the oven and turn the heat down to 250°F. Bake until crisp, dry, and slightly colored on the outside, about 45 minutes. (The meringue will spread a little during baking.) Rotate the baking sheet and continue baking until hard on the outside and slightly darker, about 45 minutes more. Turn off the heat and leave the meringue in the oven to dry for at least 30 minutes. Cool completely and gently peel off the parchment. Don’t worry if there are cracks or the center caves in slightly.

Make the filling

  • Combine the berries with 2 Tbs. of the sugar and the orange liqueur in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the berries release their juice, about 45 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream, the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar, and the vanilla with an electric mixer, increasing the speed from medium high to high as you beat, until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the yogurt.
  • Carefully transfer the shell to a serving plate. Just before serving, fill the center with the cream and top with the berries. Use a serrated knife to slice the pavlova into wedges and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the shell 1 day ahead and leave it in the closed, cooling oven. Or store it, once completely cooled, for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

The whipped cream filling can be made up to 1 hour ahead and refrigerated.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • steveftc | 03/03/2016

    It's great when something this easy is also so good.

  • user-3126144 | 03/28/2015

    Excellent dessert! Light, flavorful and easy to make ahead of time, other than the assembling just before eating.

  • whoadammitranch | 08/24/2014

    An outstanding dessert! I followed the instructions to a T and it came out perfect. Easy to make, not labor intensive, and it looks impressive and tastes delicious. The yogurt in the whipping cream cut the heavy feel. The meringue was light and of perfect consistency. Guests were excited as it looked terrific and the 6 of us polished off the whole thing after a delicious dinner. A certain keeper.

  • LDenis | 07/27/2014

    Fantastic, crowd pleasing dessert.

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