I'm super excited to share this Mega Pavlova recipe with you all! It has to be one of the most highly requested recipes I've posted on social media. It's also a family favourite in our household and requested every year for our Aussie Summer Christmas.
I have two versions featured in the images and have included both options in the recipe below. There's a Berry with Lemon Curd & Fresh Mint version and also a Mango, Passionfruit & Lime with Toasted Coconut version.
Feel free to use any fruit you have in season. You could create a tropical version with fresh mango, lime zest and lychees, or vanilla marinated strawberries with orange zest. Also, this recipe doesn’t strictly need to be a summer dessert, poached stone fruit, spiced pears or rhubarb would also be delicious. You could even add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the meringue mixture for a beautifully spiced meringue to go with the poached fruits. Yum!
I like to bake the meringue in the afternoon or evening on the day before I need it, and then leave it to cool completely in the oven overnight ready to use the following day. You could keep the meringue for a few days before using it, but I've found that if the base comes into contact with moisture it can become a little soft and at risk of caving in the centre when you add the toppings. In saying that, sometimes the meringue shell will separate a little from the marshmallow centre and if you use a lot of toppings the meringue can cave in a little. This fine as it leaves room to stack all the toppings. It's meant to be a deliciously messy dessert anyway. If you do happen to have a 'meringue mishap' that can't be rectified, I will often get by this by serving the meringue smashed up a little on a platter, then add the cream and fruit on top and serve it as a messy abstract dessert. ☺
I like to assemble the pavlova pretty close to serving time, especially if I'm making the 'mega berry' version as the weight of the berries adds pressure to the meringue shell. I will have the cream whipped, berries washed and chopped, and mint leaves picked, all ready to go!
Once the pavlova is assembled it will stay together nice and crisp for a few hours. If you leave the pav in the fridge overnight with the cream and fruit on top it will most likely go soft. It's best to add the toppings to the meringue just before you serve.
Some meringue recipes call for cornflour or cornstarch to help stabilise the meringue. I personally have never used it as I don't like the texture and taste once it has been cooked. I find that a tablespoon of lemon juice works well and creates a thick and glossy meringue mixture that holds well.
Hope you enjoy the recipe and please let me know if you have any questions via the comments below.
I also have a Meringues with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream, Passionfruit Curd, Berries & Fresh Mint recipe that you may also be interested in. It's a mini version of this recipe!
- 300ml egg whites (roughly 8 large eggs)
- 2 ½ cups castor sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
Lemon / Passionfruit Curd
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup raw castor sugar
- 4 lemons, zest & juice (250ml) or 250ml of passionfruit pulp
- 170g unsalted butter (or coconut oil for dairy free option)
Vanilla Cream (or for a DF option a thick vanilla coconut yoghurt)
- 600ml pure cream
- 250g mascarpone, thick vanilla custard or thick greek yoghurt
- 1 tbs vanilla extract, paste or powder
Toppings - for Mega Berry Pavlova
- 250g fresh strawberries, sliced
- 250g fresh blueberries
- 250g fresh raspberries
- 250g fresh blackberries
- 1 small bunch fresh mint
- Freeze dried strawberries or raspberries (optional)
Toppings - for Mango Passion Fruit Pavlova
- 1 large fresh mango, sliced
- 2 fresh passionfruit
- Zest of 1 lime
- Toasted coconut for sprinkling
- Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius / 300 Fahrenheit (fan-forced oven).
- Whip the egg whites on medium speed in a large clean bowl using a stand mixer or hand beaters.
- Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes).
- Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites (whipping the whole time) by adding 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 20-30 seconds between each addition.
- Once all the sugar is incorporated whip the mixture on medium speed for 6 minutes.
- Next, add the lemon juice or vinegar and beat for a further 3-4 minutes.
- The final egg white mixture should be really thick and glossy. When you rub the mixture between your fingers there shouldn't be any grit from the sugar. If there is, whip the mixture for a few more minutes to ensure all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Scoop the meringue into a large mound in the centre of the tray.
- Shape the meringue into a round shape on the tray and spread out lightly with a spatula.
- Using the spatula around the outside of the meringue, create sweeping up motions to create a rounded and tall edge.
- Place the tray into the preheated oven and lower the temperature to 110 degrees Celsius / 230 Fahrenheit (fan-forced oven).
- Bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven with the door closed to completely cool. This step is very important, don't be tempted to remove the meringue any earlier. Leaving it overnight is a great way to ensure its completely cooled. Otherwise, 4-5 hours should be enough.
- Remove the meringue from the oven once it is cool.
- While the meringue is cooking, let’s make the curd. This is a great way to use the egg yolks that may otherwise go to waste!
- In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice (or passion fruit pulp).
- Stir continuously over medium heat until the mixture becomes thick.
- Add the chopped butter (or coconut oil) and stir to combine and until it’s all melted and well incorporated.
- Set aside to cool.
- Whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form - whip on a low to medium speed or by hand, ensuring the cream stays smooth and doesn’t curdle.
- Fold the mascarpone (or vanilla custard or thick yoghurt) into the whipped cream.
- Dollop the vanilla cream over the meringue.
- Top with the fresh berries, curd, mint and crushed freeze-dried berries (optional) -OR- the fresh mango, passionfruit curd, fresh passion fruit, coconut and lime zest. Enjoy! x