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    Step by Step - Summer Fruit Pavlova

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    Step by Step - Summer Fruit Pavlova

    This Australian dessert is said to have been created by a chef in Adelaide as a tribute to the celebrated Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova after he had seen her dance. Pavlova has a meringue base to which a little cornflour and vinegar has been added to make the mixture more stable. The result is a meringue with a marshmallowy centre. Once cooked, the base is topped with summer fruits and double cream.

    • Vegetarian


    • For the pavlova base
    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 4 medium free range eggs, at room temperature
    • 200g caster sugar
    • For the topping
    • 450g fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
    • 250g fresh raspberries, washed
    • 1 tbsp icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp Crème de Cassis, optional
    • 284ml carton Waitrose Double Cream


    1. Preheat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment, cutting it to fit. Using a cake tin or plate as a template, draw a 23cm diameter circle on the parchment with a pencil.
    2. Place the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract in a small bowl and blend with a teaspoon until smooth. Separate the eggs one at a time, taking care not to include any yolks with the whites. As each egg is separated, tip the white into the large mixing bowl.
    3. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff enough to hold their shape. Whisk in the sugar a tablespoonful at a time, adding a little of the cornflour mixture each time. When all the sugar and cornflour has been added, the consistency of the mixture will be thick and marshmallowy.
    4. Using the spatula, turn the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread it to the marked line, then swirl with the spatula, making a slight indentation in the centre for the filling. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and leave the pavlova base to cool completely in the oven.
    5. Place 100g each of the strawberries and raspberries in a liquidiser or food processor and blend until fairly smooth. Press through a sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds. Stir in the icing sugar, and cassis if using. Slice or halve the remaining strawberries, depending on their size.
    6. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whip with a whisk until it just holds its shape. Take care not to overwhip the cream or it will become dull and grainy. Using a fish slice or wide spatula, carefully remove the pavlova from the paper and transfer to a flat serving plate. Spoon the cream into the centre, spreading it out a little. Pile the remaining fruit on top and drizzle with a little of the fruit sauce. The remaining sauce can be served in a jug.

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    Cook's tips

    The pavlova can be cooked up to a week in advance. To store, wrap in foil or place in a large airtight container.

    Remove the eggs from the fridge an hour before using. Eggs at room temperature will whisk to a greater volume than cold ones.

    Should a small speck of yolk or shell fall into the egg whites, remove with half an eggshell or a moist teaspoon.

    The yolks are not needed for the pavlova, but can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week - do not exceed the use-by date. They will also keep in the freezer for up to a month.

    Do not be tempted to use greaseproof paper or foil in place of baking parchment as these will stick.

    Cooling the pavlova slowly in the residual heat of the oven is essential to achieve the right texture, so don''t rush this stage.


    Fold 3 tbsp lemon curd into the cream before topping the pavlova.

    Fold 50g grated plain chocolate and 1 tbsp sifted cocoa into the pavlova mixture before baking.

    Use a 250g tub mascarpone, sweetened with 1 tbsp caster sugar, in place of the cream.

    Replace the strawberries and raspberries with 3 sliced peaches and drizzle with Andre Guepratte coulis, which you will find in the chiller cabinet alongside the creams.

    Waitrose Select Farm Cream is produced in southern England. It is the result of an exclusive partnership with the highest quality dairy farms. These farms maintain exemplary standards of animal welfare and assure the best in quality, traceability and taste.

    Kitchen tools

    Large baking sheet
    Non-stick baking parchment
    23cm diameter, round cake tin or plate
    Large bowl, medium bowl and 2 small bowls
    Teaspoon and tablespoon
    Electric or balloon whisk
    Food processor or blender
    Fish slice or wide spatula


    Average user rating

    4 stars