Although pavlovas have been around since the 1920’s and supposedly originated in either New Zealand or Australia (big debate topic if you live in one of those two countries!), they always make me think of Nigella. I think a pavlova suits Nigella’s style just perfectly – a beautiful dessert that seems to just happen so easily.
What is a Pavlova
A “pav” is a baked meringue that is crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy in the center like a marshmallow. It’s usually decorated with cream and fruit (especially passion fruit, kiwi or strawberries), but sometimes you’ll see them stacked on top of each other with cream in the center and on top, just like a layer cake. It’s very odd that I love pavlovas because I am not a lover of the marshmallow. I think the crispy exterior makes all the difference.
To me, pavlovas are a mix of science and art. They are beautiful in their whimsical casual way and as such are very forgiving to the cook. There’s no need to make them a perfect circle, no tears if they crack a little before they get to the table, and they are versatile enough to accommodate lots of variations with no wrong or right flavors. I think they are the perfect dinner party dessert since they can be made in the afternoon (in fact, they do need time to properly cool) and just decorated at the last minute, again, in their whimsical casual way.
In this recipe, finely ground pistachios very gently flavor the meringue and chunks of pistachio garnish the top of the pav for a pretty garnish. The strawberries can be sliced any way you like and add a burst of color that will bring everyone to the table.
In the very rare case that there are any leftovers, you can put the pavlova in the fridge, but it will lose all it’s crisp and simply be chewy the next day – not a bad thing, just different.
Comments (4)Post a Reply
They turned out very nicely in my 5.8-qt GoWise. I did the foil sling and that really helped. Next time, I will try using my grill pan and not using the sling. They will have to be slightly smaller, and I might even get a small third one.
I have some natural pistachio flavor, and might use that instead of vanilla next time. I just didn’t think of it in time for this first batch. I haven’t made a Pavlova in at least 20-years, so I stuck to the recipe, and it was easy.
They also stayed put in the air fryer-I was worried about them flying around and getting the heating element covered in meringue..
This will be a nice, light, summertime dessert, especially in the air fryer. I don’t have A/C, and cooking really heats up my kitchen unless I use the air fryer. It’ll be a nice dessert year-round, too. Thanks, Meredith! It couldn’t have come at a better time. I had been wondering if you could do a Pavlova in an air fryer, and up popped your recipe. 8)
I live at 6,000 ft is there any difference in the mixture or cooking time
Hi Lynette. I’m not a high-altitude expert, so I might suggest “Pie in the Sky” by Susan Purdy. Her recommendation is to whip the egg whites to less than stiff peak. You also may need to leave the pavlova in the oven for a little longer at 275ºF. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
When I make pavlova there is never any leftovers! A good tip to share with readers is to not try to make a pavlova on a humid day – it will only get soggy as it cools and drys.