You'll love this Pavlova Trifle recipe! Crunchy meringue pieces, tropical fruit that's slathered in a velvety vanilla cream. Easy to make and looks amazing when serving dessert for your guests! This isn't your grandmothers boring trifle recipe!
This Easy Trifle Recipe is a holiday and summertime favorite around our home. My wife has been making this delicious treat for almost 20 years now. It uses elements of a traditional Pavlova dessert, but it's easier and quicker to make.
Trifle dessert is an English invention, with cream, custard and sponge, dating back to the 1500's. When I think about trifle desserts, I think of an old fashioned dessert, still stuck in the 1970's, and not the good kind of 1970's! This Easy Pavlova Trifle recipe takes the best of both desserts, and combines it together into an easy to make delicious dessert. We make it every summer as part of our Aussie Seafood Feast.
What is Pavlova?
Pavlova is a meringue desert topped with cream and fruit, 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. It's hotly debated if Pavlova is an Australian dessert or a New Zealand invention and is claimed by both countries.
Pavlova is a baked Meringue topped with fresh fruit, usually strawberries, passionfruit, kiwi, mangoes and cream. I made a festive Pavlova Wreath topped with raspberries and blueberries which looked amazing. Compared to a traditional Pavlova, trifle recipe will save you so much time. You can use whatever fruit you love. However, mangoes are always a must for me!
How to Cut a Mango
Growing up in Canada, I never knew how to cut mangoes. There is an easy way to cut mangoes into cubes. I use a mango slicer to slice the mango cheeks away from the seed, then slice the pieces like a long Tic Tac Toe board or crosshatched. Invert the mango cheek and remove perfectly cut cubes. It's a time saver and less messy.
If you don't have the mango slicer, it works the same way still. Slice off the fleshy cheek sides of the mango. Cut along the sides of the pit to remove the rest of the mango from the pit. Follow the same process by cutting the mango pieces into small squares and invert. I use 3-4 large mangoes for this recipe.
The Secret to the Cream Layer
The secret to the whipped cream texture is the Vanilla Bean Yogurt. The whipped cream with the yogurt folded through provides the right silky texture, adds depth and flavor, and is easy to spread. Don't use only whipped cream. You'll love how the mixture of silky Vanilla Bean yogurt and whipped cream tastes with the fruit and crunchy meringue.
How to Make an Easy Trifle Recipe
A great thing about living in Australia is the availability of meringues available to be bought in a grocery store. When we lived in Canada, we baked the Pavlovas from scratch, which doesn't make for a quick and easy dessert. But what I discovered is that smaller meringue nests are commonly sold in grocery stores everywhere, ready to go when making quick desserts. They are now sold around the world in most grocery stores. So don't make the meringues, buy them to save time!
Prepare all your ingredients in advance, then you are ready to build your trifle. You will need a glass trifle bowl. If you don't have one, you can use a glass salad bowl, because you want to be able to see all the layers.
Firstly, start by marinating the strawberries with a bit of Grand Marnier for extra flavor. My wife has been making this dessert for over 20 years and it's so tasty. She says if you don't have Grand Marnier, just squeeze 2 tablespoons of orange juice from the orange you are going to zest into the strawberries instead.
Secondly, find some passionfruit! Pavlovas and Passionfruit are synonymous for this dessert, but can be hard and expensive to find. They sell canned passionfruit here in Australia, and you can find it on Amazon. If you can't find passionfruit, as it can be hard to find in North America, you unfortunately have to skip it.
Using a mixer, whip the cream and icing sugar together until peaks form. Carefully fold in the vanilla bean yogurt, but be gentle! You don't want to lose the fluffiness of the mix.
Meringue nests are crunchier than a regular Pavlova base, providing a great contrast with the fruit, cream and yogurt. It's easy to buy them, and then crunch them up with your hands as you layer your trifle.
Finally, grate some white chocolate and the zest of an orange, and carefully mix them together. Use 2 forks, because if you mix with your hands, the chocolate will start to melt and stick to your hands. The forks limit the clumping of the chocolate and orange zest.
How to Layer a Meringue Trifle
Now you just build or layer your ingredients inside your glass trifle bowl. Start with a layer of strawberries, add a layer of crushed meringues, and cover with the yogurt cream mixture. Repeat using mangoes, meringue and cream again, sprinkling with the white chocolate orange. It's that easy.
Can Meringue Trifle Be Made in Advance?
If you make this recipe in advance, you will find that the meringue and the layers get soggy. Unlike a traditional trifle which needs to have the flavors soak through the sponge, the opposite is true in a Pavlova Trifle. The contrast of the crunchiness of the meringue nests with the fruit and cream is what's needed to mimic a Pavlova. Prepare all the ingredients in advance, then build your layers right before serving to your guests. The good news is that it's easy to make, allowing time for the meal to digest while making it.
- If you don't have mangoes, substitute with sliced bananas or your favorite tropical fruit
- Keep the white chocolate in the freezer until you are ready to grate. This make grating the chocolate easier. I usually use a small Milky Way bar.
- The white chocolate zest will start to stick together when mixing with the orange zest. Mix quickly trying not to allow it to clump together. Use a fork to mix them together instead of your hands which heat up the chocolate.
- Instead of the white chocolate and orange topping, your can layer with your favorite fruits. Sliced Kiwi and Strawberries taste great together
If you don't have mangoes, you can substitute with a few sliced bananas. Keep the white chocolate refrigerated until you are ready to grate, this will make it easier to grate. The white chocolate zest will melt when you mix it with the orange zest, so mix it quickly not allowing it to clump together. Remember to serve immediately, or the dessert will go soggy.
Who needs the same old dessert? Try something a little bit different this year, everyone will love this Easy Trifle Recipe. A bit of tropical sweetness to your holiday table, plus it's so easy to make. An Australian Christmas classic re-imagined, enjoyed any time of year. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 lb /500g strawberries, sliced
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons icing sugar
- 170 g can of passionfruit pulp or use fresh passionfruit
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier optional
- 3 - 4 mangoes cubed
- 3 cups Vanilla Bean Yogurt
- 20 meringue nests crushed into small chunks
- white chocolate for grating
- 1 orange for zesting
- Mix the strawberries, passionfruit and Grand Marnier in a bowl. Set aside to marinate together.
- Beat the whipping cream and 6 tablespoons icing sugar until peaks form.
- Carefully fold in the Vanilla Bean yogurt into the whipped cream. Mix carefully maintaining the 'fluffiness' of the whipped cream.
- Using a large glass trifle bowl, layer the strawberries, followed by a layer of crushed meringue (using half). Then layer with half of the Vanilla Bean cream.
- Repeat with a second layer of sliced mango, meringues and cream.
- Grate white chocolate and orange zest. Mix them together in a bowl and sprinkle the top of the Pavlova trifle before serving. Serve immediately.