A Berry Pavlova Wreath is an Australian Classic! Popular year round, but specifically at Christmastime, or even on Australia Day. Nothing says 'Australian Christmas' to me like a fresh baked Pavlova, topped with fresh fruit.
What is Pavlova Dessert?
Pavlova is a baked meringue desert named after the famous Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova. The dessert is believed to have been created in her honour during her tour of Australia and New Zealand in the 1920’s. Meringues are made by beating egg whites until stiff peak peaks form, adding sugar, cornstarch and vinegar and baking at a low temperature. The end result is a meringue dessert recipe. Who knew beating egg whites could be so tasty.
Where Did Pavlova Originate?
It’s still hotly debated if this is an Australian dessert or a New Zealand invention. I'm not wading into that territory. For the purpose of the recipe, I'm calling it an Australian classic. Pavlova is a simple baked meringue topped with fresh fruit and it's gluten free too. I also love my Pavlova topped with mango, strawberries and passionfruit. In Australia, it's affectionately called a Pav for short and can be topped with many different sweet toppings. Try adding bananas, kiwi fruit and passionfruit! Won't look as festive, but still delicious. Sometimes I make Pavlova with Passionfruit Curd which is another delicious Pav variation.
During the holidays, a Christmas pavlova wreath covered in berries just looks amazing and festive. Raspberries and Blueberries aren't native to Australia, however growers do grow them and sell them at outrageous prices. I suppose it's supply and demand. They are sold in tiny 125g baskets for $5 each, which equate to about $40 a kilo ($18 a pound).
You could use frozen berries or frozen mangoes, but I don't recommend it, as they will be messy and look terrible. Luckily you don't need many fresh berries to make this awesome dessert. If you're short on time, make an Easy Pavlova Trifle which is ready to serve in about 20 minutes.
The holidays are busy, so you can bake the Pavlova Wreath meringue ahead of time, just be sure to keep it in an airtight container until you're ready to use. Merry Christmas and Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Berry Pavlova Wreath
Berry Pavlova Wreath is perfect for the Christmas holidays or just to eat on a summer's day, with fresh blueberries and raspberries.
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup white sugar superfine sugar if possible
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar
- fruit for decorating
- 1 punnet of raspberries
- 1 punnet of blueberries
Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F.
Place a layer of baking paper on a baking tray. Using a pencil and a dinner plate as a guide (around 25cm), make circle. Make a second smaller circle inside (around 15cm) resembling the shape of a round wreath.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, still beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. Add cornstarch and vinegar and very quickly beat until mixed throughout.
Using a tablespoon, scoop the meringue onto the baking sheet, within the traced lines forming a wreath shape. Using the back of your spoon, gently smooth out the top of the meringue, where your cream will sit. On the visible sides of the meringue, create a small wave, or peak of meringue, which looks nice when it's baked.
Reduce oven to 120°C/250°F or 100°C/210°F fan forced oven, and place the pavlova wreath in the oven. Bake for 1.5 hours, or until the pavlova is ivory, not brown. Turn off the oven, and allow the pavlova to cool completely with the oven door open slightly. If you remove the pavlova before it's completely cool, it will crack.
Using a mixer, beat the whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of icing sugar together until soft an fluffy, with soft peaks formed. Spoon on top of the pavlova, and decorate with fresh berries or fruit of your choice. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Enjoy.