My Material Life

Lovely Pavlova


I’ve always loved meringue. Where I grew up we had a bakeshop called Erika’s and I loved getting one of Erika’s meringue cups for a treat. I suppose the idea was to fill them with something, but I just loved them plain. The texture – crunchy outside, but melt-in-your-mouth inside – and the taste were the best. So I was very excited to learn about this dessert in Saveur Magazine a little over ten years ago. Pavlova is popular in New Zealand and Australia and was named in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. I made it for a dinner with our then neighbors, but I wasn’t really happy with how the meringue turned out, so I never made one again – until Saturday. I’ve had some success with a coconut meringue that I’ve been making at Easter for the last couple of years, so I guess that emboldened me to give a Pavlova another try. I needed a dessert to bring to a dinner at our friends’ house, so I was lucky it turned out better this time. I used the recipe you’ll find here. The only thing I did differently was to build up the edges of the uncooked meringue circle a bit because I did not flip the baked meringue over as the recipe instructs. Well that and I added a thin layer of Trader Joe’s Lemon Curd beneath the sweetened whipped cream and fruit. Be sure to follow all the instructions for baking and preparing the pan though. I’m not sure what impact sprinkling the parchment paper with water made, but the consistency of the meringue was just right. I suppose if you lived in Australia or New Zealand a Pavlova might be a bit expected, but around here it’s a real show stopper (for not a lot of effort)!


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