Pavlova Wreath Meringue Dessert

I am seriously obsessed with meringue.  There is something special about a dessert that is sweet and crisp and light as air.  Who would have thought that beating egg whites and sugar could be so magical?  Pair it with fruit and/or whipped cream and it’s over the top.  When I saw a picture of this Pavlova Wreath at She Wears Many Hats, I soooo needed to give it a try.  

Pavlova Wreath, Served

Pavlova Wreath, Served

Until I started blogging, I never made a meringue myself (silly me), but I had eaten literally hundreds.  Yes, my past included Strawberry Schaum Tortes (which, growing up, I always hoped would be on the restaurant dessert menu), my mother’s special occasion Strawberry Meringue Dessert and the Cream Meringues I ate during teas with friends when I studied in Ireland.  Yup, just mention meringue and I start to mist up.      

Pavlova Wreath with Coffee

Pavlova Wreath with Coffee

One of the most famous meringue desserts is the Pavlova, created for the famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova during a tour to Australia and New Zealand.  It is a crisp meringue with a creamy center (some meringues are crisp all the way through) and topped with fruit and whipped cream.  pavlova-wreath-from-above

This Pavolva wreath is a good beginner meringue since it doesn’t require any special skills (such as piping) to form.  You just drop dollops of meringue in a circle on parchment (I don’t even draw a circle first like some people recommend), then smooth  as needed into a wreath.  Bake, let cool, then top with whipped cream and decorate with a little or a lot of fruit.  (If you are using a lot of topping, you may want to flatten or hollow out a bit of a well but for the more limited amount of filling in this recipe, leaving the meringue mounded works well).   

Beat meringue until stiff

Beat meringue until stiff

Drop large spoonfuls onto parchment in wreath shape

Drop large spoonfuls onto parchment in wreath shape

Finally, garnish as desired.  I used a few sugared cranberries and some lemon balm (mint is good too) leaves.  

 Garnish Pavlova Wreath with Sugared Cranberries and Mint Leaves

Garnish Pavlova Wreath with Sugared Cranberries and Mint Leaves

After a big Christmas dinner, I need a dessert that is both tasty and light to tempt a roomful of stuffed and sleepy guests. I think I’ve got a winner here!    pavlova-wreath-piece

Pavlova Wreath
Serves 12
There is something special about a Christmas dessert that is sweet & crisp & light as air like this Pavlova Wreath Meringue with berries & whipped cream.
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153 calories
20 g
27 g
7 g
2 g
5 g
52 g
38 g
19 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
52g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153
Calories from Fat 65
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 27mg
9%
Sodium 38mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 19g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the meringue
  1. • 4 eggs whites (ideally room temperature)
  2. • Pinch of salt
  3. • 1 cup sugar
  4. • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (sifted)
  5. • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  6. • ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the topping
  1. • 1 cup heavy cream
  2. • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  3. • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. Fruit as desired for garnish.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Top a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, a little at time until meringue is stiff.  Beat in sifted cornstarch, vanilla & lemon juice. Mixture should be very stiff and hold its shape well if mounded
  3. To form the wreath, scoop a dollop of meringue onto the parchment. Repeat until a ring of meringue is complete. Smooth the meringue as needed. The top can be left mounded or flattened, depending on the amount of topping you are using.
  4. Place meringue in oven, and immediately reduce temperature to 250. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. When time is complete, turn off the oven and leave meringue in the oven until completely cool, about 4 hours.
  5. Before serving, beat the whipped cream until stiff. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla then beat briefly until combined.
  6. When meringue is cool, loosen gently from the parchment with a thin flat tool and move to a serving dish. Spread with whipped cream, and decorate as desired.
  7. Serve within a few hours of topping.
beta
calories
153
fat
7g
protein
2g
carbs
20g
more
Art of Natural Living http://artofnaturalliving.com/
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20 thoughts on “Pavlova Wreath Meringue Dessert

  1. Gillian

    Hi there Inger – I don’t mind if you use my recipe but please give credit where due with a link back to my website for my Berry Xmas Pavlova and the original recipe. Many Thanks Gillian

    1. Inger

      Hi Gillian–
      Actually I started with the recipe (and styling) from She Wears Many Hats, which I do credit. (Though I cut it in half, then reduced the starting oven temperature when it browned a bit too much). The recipe is a century old and historians aren’t even sure where it originally came from. But since the styling and the inspiration came from She Wears Many Hats I made sure to mention that.

  2. Juliana

    Oh Inger, I love how you decorated the pavlova for the holidays…I usually top with fresh fruits and whipped cream…I absolutely like the idea of the sugared cranberries and mint leaves…perfect for the season…I just place the cranberries in the sugar syrup as I am typing this comment…
    Thanks for the inspiration my dear…have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!

    1. Inger

      I really debated between this look and the one with more fruit which is also pretty and is healthier. This seemed safer while I am a relative novice, but I will have to try it with more fruit some time. I was thinking perhaps heart shaped for Valentine’s Day with strawberries…

      Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to you too Juliana!

  3. David

    We love Pavlova’s, and this makes for a beautiful holiday dessert! Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, and a very happy, healthy, and joy filled new year!

  4. Louise

    I’ve always shied away from making anything “meringue-ie” too Inger. Your wreath came out absolutely lovely!!! Perhaps, I should one day try my hand at making meringue. It actually sounds fairly easy:)

    Thank you so much for sharing Inger. Wishing You and Yours a Joyous Christmas!!!

    1. Inger

      I am actually finding meringues easier than many of my other baking attempts this year. Yes, the pies, cheesecakes, etc that ran the gamut from “great when they work” to “outright failure” Ah just more things for the “possible next year’s post list”! Hope your holidays were fabulous!

  5. lena

    merry christmas , Inger! i find that making pavlova is quite challenging but you did it so well and love how you decorate it too. Ive made pavlova once and that was like years ago…i remember i was very nervous all the way making that 🙂 may you hv a joyous christmas and happy holidays!

    1. Inger

      I was nervous the first time–and even though my first one got darker than I wanted, it was still delicious (and white as snow again once the whipped cream went on top ;-)) Hope your holidays were wonderful Lena!

    1. Inger

      I am so glad I decided to “play with” meringue. I had so many baking failures this year (pies, cakes, cheesecakes, …) but meringue has always been pretty reliable for me. I would recommend giving it a try!

  6. Lynn

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This wreath is beautiful and a light dessert this time of year is brilliant. I haven’t made meringue for a couple years (didn’t go so well, haha), but this almost looks easy enough for me not to mess up. Might have to give it a try. 🙂

  7. TheKitchenLioness

    Came across your lovely blog as I saw your comments on Juliana´s and David´s blogs – what a festive dessert you created. We also enjoy meringue quite a bit but it had never occurred to me to shape a meringue as a wreath for the Christmas season and top it off with candied cranberries!
    What a wonderful dessert!
    Looking forward to more delicous inspirations…
    Andrea

    1. Inger

      I made a lot of drinking custard, which uses egg yolks, this year, so I have lots of frozen egg whites! I can see more meringue in my future!!

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