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Strawberry Cream Pavlova

HG Cooks

Strawberry Cream Pavlova

Recipe by Hopson Grace

Put an Australian and a New Zealander in a room and ask them who invented the Pavlova. Each side will claim the "Pav," as they refer to it, originated in their homeland when the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured both countries in 1926. The Aussies claim this now classic dessert was invented in the ballerina's honour when a Perth hotel diner described the dessert as being "light as Pavlova." The Kiwis, on the other hand, claim a Wellington hotel chef was inspired by Pavlova's tutu and coined his dessert in the ballerina's name. The truth likely lies elsewhere (most meringues desserts derive from Germany), but who are we to get in the way of a good story? History aside, this meringue-based dessert has a crisp and airy outside, a soft inside, and is topped with whipped cream and any seasonal fruit you have on hand. With local strawberries in abundance right now, this Strawberry Cream "Pav" is the perfect early summer dessert.

Serves 6-8


For meringue:

  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

For strawberry cream:

  • 2 cups strawberries, quartered

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ½ tsp lemon zest

  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled

  • ½  cup marscapone cheese

For garnish:

  • 2/3 cup strawberries, chopped or whole 

  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios (optional)



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Whisk egg whites at high speed on your stand mixer for approximately 2 minutes. When foamy, beat in vinegar, followed by ongoing spoonfulls of sugar, until stiff peaks form and the whites are glossy and stiff. This will take 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Place meringue in a 10" round on the sheet pan, and make sure you leave an indent at the top for your toppings. Lower the oven to 225°F and cook for 90 minutes, until crisp on the outside yet chewy on the inside. Turn the oven off and let the meringue rest for at least an hour. Transfer to a rack and cool.

Strawberry cream:

  • In a saucepan, simmer the 1 cup of strawberries with lemon juice and zest for about 5 minutes, mashing the berries along the way. Remove from heat and stir in the other cup of berries, along with the vanilla. Let cool.

  • Whip the chilled cream and marscapone with the whisk on your stand mixer. This will take approximately 3 minutes. Remove the bowl and gently fold in strawberry mixture. (Note: if you like, reserve a bit of the strawberry sauce for added colour as you garnish your pavlova)

Assemble and serve:

  • Place the meringue on your cake plate or stand. Spoon the strawberry cream into its centre of the meringue and garnish with strawberries and if you like, chopped pistachios.


Tip: Feel free to swap the strawberries with any local, seasonal fruit.

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