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Red White & Blue Pavlova

Celebrate summer with a cloud of crisp, marshmallowy meringue topped with a mountain of fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. This divine berry pavlova is the perfect dessert to serve up on the 4th or at any backyard cookout. With just a handful of simple ingredients and a little technique, you’ll be stunning your guests with this red white, and blue pavlova all summer long.

What is Pavlova?

If you’ve never tried pavlova before, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. But just one bite into this soft, pillowy, berry-topped treat– trust us, you’ll get the hype. Pavlova is basically a large bowl-like disk made of chewy, crispy meringue filled with fresh whipped cream and fruit. The meringue is light yet decadent with a middle that tastes like an airy marshmallow.

Pavlova is traditionally topped with whipped cream and fruit and sometimes lemon curd, chocolate, or jam. The meringue makes the perfect blank canvas for you to go wild with whichever flavors you fancy. We made this summer treat 4th of July ready by topping our red white & blue pavlova with fresh strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

Ingredients & Equipment

To make this red white & blue pavlova you’ll need only a handful of ingredients and a few pieces of kitchen equipment.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Egg whites: Use large, room-temperature egg whites. When separating your eggs, be very careful to not get any yolk mixed into the whites.
  • Sugar: You’ll need granulated sugar for the meringue and powdered sugar to make the fresh whipped cream.
  • Cream of tartar: to help stabilize the meringue.
  • Heavy cream: Using fridge-cold cream is best when making whipped cream.
  • Vanilla: Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for the best flavor.
  • Fresh berries: Use a mix of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries for the perfect 4th of July color palate.
  • Strawberry jam: Tossing the cut strawberries in some warmed strawberry jam will bring them to the next level! To maintain the vibrant red white & blue of it all, just toss the strawberries and leave the blackberries and blueberries as they are.

To make and assemble the pavlova you’ll need:

  • Stand mixer: This recipe is heavy on the whisking so you’ll really want to use a stand mixer instead of handheld beaters. Use the balloon whisk attachment for both the meringue and the fresh whipped cream.
  • Sheet tray: Bake the pavlova on a large sheet tray to allow air to circulate around the meringue as it bakes.
  • Parchment paper: Line the sheet tray with parchment paper to allow the meringue to lift off after it bakes. Definitely don’t grease the sheet try as butter or nonstick spray will bleed into the meringue shell and prevent it from crisping.

Tips for Perfect Pavlova

If making a meringue feels a bit intimidating, just follow these easy tips to ensure pavlova perfection.

  1. Be patient: When whipping up the meringue, add in the granulated sugar very slowly. Add just one heaping tablespoon of sugar into the egg white every 30 seconds. Seriously– run a timer. Incorporating the sugar this slowly will ensure it dissolves properly in the meringue.
  2. Be patient again: When baking and cooling the meringue, resist the urge to open the oven door and have a peek. When ready to cool turn the oven off, crack the door, and let the pavlova rest in the oven for 30 minutes before removing to fully cool. Taking it out right away will cause it to crack.
  3. Know the right temp: Use room temperature egg whites for the meringue and fridge-cold heavy cream for homemade whipped cream.
  4. Low and slow: Meringues bake the best in a low oven. Preheat your oven to 325° and drop the temp down to 200° as soon as you put in the pavlova. For a soft, marshmallowy interior with a crisp exterior, bake the pavlova low and slow for 1 hour and 30 minutes. When the timer is up, turn the oven off, crack the door, and the meringue rest in the oven for 30 minutes before removing to fully cool. This is how to achieve that crisp outside and fluffy, chewy center that makes pavlova so irresistible.

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Red White & Blue Pavlova

Celebrate summer with a cloud of crisp, marshmallowy meringue topped with a mountain of fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. This divine berry pavlova is the perfect summer dessert!

Course DessertCuisine EuropeanKeyword Pavlova, Red White & Blue Pavlova

Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes Cooling time 30 minutes Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings 6

Author Tyler Anastasio

Equipment

  • 1 Stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment
  • 1 large sheet tray
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

Pavlova Meringue

  • 6 large egg whites* room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Red White & Blue Berry Topping

  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam homemade or store bought
  • 2 1/2 cups strawberries quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups  heavy whipping cream fridge-cold
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Pavlova Meringue

  • Preheat your oven to 325°. To a clean stand mixer** add the 6 room temp egg whites and turn on to medium speed. Whip the whites for a minute or so until they are lightly frothy then add in the cream of tartar. Beat for another minute or 2 until the whites are softly whipped and slightly opaque. Then, raise the speed to the highest setting and begin adding the sugar– one heaping tablespoon at a time. Add one spoonful of sugar every 30 seconds, running the mixer on high the whole time. This whole process should take you 10-12 minutes. Once all the sugar has been added, let the meringue whip for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Prepare your baking tray by lining it with parchment paper. To keep the paper from sliding around the tray, put a dot of meringue under each corner of the paper.Spoon the meringue into a mountain in the center of the parchment. Use a large spoon or spatula to work it into an approx. 8" circle. Create a slight divot in the center just as you would in mashed potatoes to make room for the gravy.
  • Transfer the pavlova meringue into the 325° preheated oven and immediately turn the heat down to 200°. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, resisting the urge to open the oven door. When the timer is up, turn the oven off, crack the door and let it rest in the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove and allow to fully cool on the counter.

Red White & Blue Berry Topping

  • Warm the strawberry jam in a small sauce pan or in the microwave. Toss in the quartered strawberries and flavor with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Set aside the blackberries and blueberries until ready to assemble.

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • Beat fridge-cold heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla into soft peaks.

Pavlova Assembly

  • When your meringue shell is fully cool, move it from the parchment paper onto a cake stand or serving plate. Spoon on about half of the whipped cream and top with half of the strawberries. Then arrange over some blackberries and blueberries before repeating the layers. Whipped cream, strawberry mixture, then blackberries and blueberries. Serve immediately!***

Notes

*Separate the eggs with clean, dry hands. When separating your eggs, be sure not to get ANY yolk in with the whites. Even a little bit of yolk will cause your whites to not whip up properly. If you accidentally break a yolk into the whites, start over.
**Any amount of oil will cause the meringue to not whip into a stiff peak. To make sure there is no residual oil or grease on your stand mixer bowl or beater, give them a wash in hot soapy water and thoroughly dry before beginning.
***Pavlova is not a dessert you want sitting around for too long before you serve. If you want to get a bit ahead, keep all the components separate and layer everything up just before serving. Keep the meringue shell uncovered at room temperature and the whipped cream in the fridge until ready to assemble.