Quick and Easy Kiwi Pavlova
Ahhh, the delicious treat that is a pavlova. Easy to make. Easy on the waistline. And easy on the wallet. The pavlova takes the sweet, crumbly meringue, adds pillowy whipped cream, and tops it off with the Zespri Kiwifruit of your choice — Green, SunGold or both!
So if you're looking for a tropical twist on the classic pavlova recipe, look no further. We have it right here.
But first . . .
What Exactly is a Pavlova
Pavlova is an important part of food history for both Australia and New Zealand. It's a meringue-based dessert that's especially popular around summer. It's easy to understand why! Everything about a traditional pavlova dessert screams summer: light, fluffy and fruity. And because it's super easy to make, and always looks great on any spread, it's also quite popular during the holidays.
(Remember that summer months for Australia and New Zealand are December, January and February. So for them, the pavlova often doubles quite nicely as both a summer and a Christmas-time dessert. And that's why, in the States, you'll find pavlova desserts equally at home at Christmas dinners and Fourth of July cookouts.)
As the story goes, the dessert was created in honor of — and named after — the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova after her first-ever visit to Australian and New Zealand. And there's some friendly debate about whether its origins rest in Australia or New Zealand. And some food historians even point out the dessert's similarities to a U.S.-by-way-of-Austria dish.
Wherever the dessert originated from, we know exactly where it belongs: in our belly.
Fortunately, it's quite easy to make.
What Makes Pavlova So Great?
Anna Pavlova was one of the most celebrated and influential ballet dancers of her time. Anna, it was said, didn't just dance; rather, "she soars as though on wings.” From this beautiful description, you get a real sense of what you can expect from a pavlova — light and airy.
Once you have the traditional pavlova recipe mastered, it's easy to adapt the recipe to fit what fruits are in season. Experimentation is welcomed, especially with the toppings, which can be created using strawberries, oranges, peaches or mangoes.
It's a fruit you love, chances are it'll make a great topping in any pavlova recipe!
Easy Kiwi Pavlova Recipe in Ten Steps
Pavlovas come in many flavors. Piled high with fresh fruit that's "in season," you can tailor your pavlova dessert recipe to fit what's readily available as you explore your local grocery or farmer's market. So it's easy to use kiwi and other seasonal fruits to deliver an out-of-this-world showstopper.
This specific recipe uses raspberries and pistachios for added flavor and texture.
|What You'll Need:||For the topping:|
|3 Zespri SunGold kiwifruit||½ cup whipping cream|
|3 large egg whites||vanilla extract|
|¾ cups caster (or superfine) sugar||½ cup shelled pistachios|
|1 tablespoon corn flour||fresh raspberries|
|1 teaspoon white wine vinegar|
|1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract|
|a pinch of salt|
a few drops of purple or pink food coloring — your choice!
Before you start:
Any meringue dessert will use egg whites. And because egg whites are pure protein, you'll want to start off with room temperature eggs. This will help the egg whites grow bigger and stronger as you whip them.
So take the eggs out of the refrigerator the night before you need them. Or you can place them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes to take their chill off. This will make all the difference in the world when creating a great meringue that's thick and fluffy.
What you'll do:
- Use a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a hand-mixer or stand-mixer. Whip the egg whites on a lower speed at first.
- When they start to form soft peaks, slowly add sugar (about a tablespoon at a time) while whisking continuously. You can slowly start whipping faster as you begin to get the consistency you want.
- Mix in the rest of the sugar and vanilla extract once the mixture starts looking glossier.
- Add the cornflour, a pinch of salt, and then the vinegar as you continue whisking. The meringue mix will really start to hold shape. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the meringue mixture in a separate bowl.
- Gently fold in a few drops of food coloring.
- Line a heavy gauge baking tray with greaseproof parchment paper. Spread out the white meringue mixture in a circle, about the size of a dinner plate. Squiggle some of the colored meringue mixture around the edges
- Bake at 250° F for 90 minutes (or until it is dry to the touch but not brown).
- Turn the oven off, open the door slightly, and leave the meringue inside for another 20 minutes to thoroughly dry out.
- Take out of the oven to cool. Then peel off the parchment paper or remove the meringue by sliding an offset spatula or knife underneath the shell.
- Just before serving, whip the cream with the vanilla extract and spread it over the meringue, including the sides. Finally, top with chopped kiwifruit, raspberries and pistachios.
Need to plan ahead? You can make the meringue up to 2 days ahead of time and store in an airtight container at room temperature. No need to refrigerate it — in fact, DON'T refrigerate it — because the base will keep well in an airtight container.
Watch How Kiwi Pavlova Is Made
Check out our UK partners over at Zespri UK for a step-by-step video that shows just how simple, quick and easy it is to made pavlova.
Tasty Variations on the Theme
The beautiful thing about a classic pavlova recipe is its versatility. Once the base is created, you have the flexibility to use whatever fruits you have on hand.
For instance, you can switch to Zespri Green kiwifruit if you prefer a taste that's more on the tart side. Or you can use strawberries instead of — or alongside — the raspberries. There is no limit to the kinds of fruits you can use.
For adult gatherings, you can even try a 'mojito pavlova' that uses Zespri Green kiwifruit with a splash of rum for the toppings. The base will be the same but here's how you make the topping:
Mojito Pavlova Topping:
|What You'll Need:||For the topping:|
|6 Zespri Green kiwis, peeled and sliced||Place sliced kiwis in a medium bowl.|
|juice of 1 lime||Add lime juice, sugar, mint and rum, then gently toss ingredients together.|
|1 or 2 tablespoons of superfine sugar||Let macerate for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 24 hours.|
|1 heaped tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped||Fill Pavlova shell with whipped cream and top with macerated kiwis.|
|drizzle of your favorite rum|
But even the meringue base has some room for experimentation. Try adding a tablespoon of the zest of your choice — lime, lemon or orange — and when you add the vanilla extra in step 3 of the recipe above.