Pavlova -The Ultimate Summer Dessert!!

Pavlova…perhaps the dessert mostly associated with summer! It’s light and airy texture; paired with a fresh, seasonal fruit topping; makes this the perfect summer indulgence. It has been a popular Summer dessert for a long time, and over the years people have incorporated many different flavours and fillings, although, around here, most people tend to stick to whipped cream and fresh fruit.

I confess to have made Pavlova only once before…and it flopped!! I think I may have been too hasty and not taken heed of the instructions correctly, but it was enough for me to swear off making Pavlova ever again! Well, until recently that is….when I posed the question on Facebook as to what summer dessert I should feature on the Blog, one reader was kind enough to share her Pavlova recipe with me. I obviously could not back down from this challenge, and I am so glad I didn’t!
This is a recipe with a twist. Instead of the normal whipped cream topping, this recipe uses the egg yolks to make a zesty, lemony flavoured, mousse-like filling that I can only describe as absolutely sublime! The smooth citrus flavour was the perfect contrast to the sweet, crisp crust and marshmallow centred of the meringue, which culminated in an interesting and divine end result. With the added bonus of not wasting the yolks, this recipe is a winner and it is now one of my Summer favourites!
Here is the recipe as was given to me. I will add tips and modifications at the end.
  • 4 egg whites (retain yolks for filling)

  • 2ml salt

  • 100gr sugar

  • 100gr Castor sugar

  • 5ml corn flour (maizena)

  • 2ml vinegar OR lemon juice


  • 4 egg yolks

  • 50gr Castor sugar

  • 50ml lemon juice

  • 12,5 ml finely grated lemon rind ( I did without this and it turned out fine)

  • 190ml fresh cream, whipped


Trace a 20cm diameter circle on a piece of greaseproof paper. Place paper on a baking tray. Set aside.


Place egg-whites in a clean grease free bowl (preferably stainless steel). Add salt and beat until stiff. Gradually add sugar a little bit at a time. Beat well until dissolved. Fold in Castor sugar and cornflour using a metal spoon. Fold in vinegar ( I continued using my stand mixer on low speed).


Spread a thick layer within the drawn circle. Place remaining meringue in a piping bag. Pipe around outer edges to form sides of the case. Bake at 110 deg Celsius for abut 1 1/2 to 2 hrs or until meringue is crisp and lightly browned. Turn off oven and leave to cool with door open.


Whisk egg yolks until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice and rind. Place mixture in a saucepan over simmering water. Stir over heat until mixture thickens; approximately 10 min. Remove from heat, leave to cool. Lastly, fold in whipped cream.


Spoon filling into meringue case. Decorate with rosettes of cream and a slice of lemon peel.

Some Tips on what I would do differently:
  • As pretty as the case looks, I would rather make it flatter next time with a slight dip in the centre. I found the meringue of the outer case a bit too sweet without the pairing of the zesty filling.

  • I think I baked mine slightly too long as the base of one half was a bit too crisp. I won’t go beyond 1 1/2 hrs in my oven, however this will vary from oven to oven. I will instead use the guideline in step 3 and turn the heat off once shell is crisp and slightly brown.

  • I will NOT decorate with fruit! The instruction did not include a fruit topping and I didn’t listen!! I found that it drowned out the flavour of the lemon filling, which was a pity, because the beauty of this Pavlova is it’s filling.

  • I absolutely loved the filling! I would even make it as a mousse on it’s own. I am already imagining substituting the lemon juice with other flavours for a unique Pavlova each and every time! Mango puree and Berry puree is on the top of my list!

  • Because of the long baking time and cooling process, I made the meringue case and filling the day before I needed it. I stored the meringue in an airtight container, and filling in the fridge; and I assembled it on the day!
Keep safe over the festive season,
Happy Holidays!

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