Individual Raspberry Pavlovas are naturally gluten free, and divine. Shatter the paper thin crust of one of these mini pavlovas with your fork and you’ll hit a marshmallowy center flecked with vanilla bean ~ be sure to get some of that silky whipped cream and tangy raspberry sauce in your bite!
A beautiful light-as-air meringue dessert invented in the 1920s and named after an elegant Russian ballerina ~ could this get any more romantic??
I don’t indulge often, and when I do it usually involves chocolate. Or cake. But also chocolate. So this life changing raspberry pavlova recipe only came about because I was left with 4 egg whites after making my BALLYMALOE NO CHURN ICE CREAM the other day. I’d been wanting to make a pavlova for a long time, mostly because they’re so pretty, but I had no clue that I was about to discover a new passion. This is everything you want a dessert to be, without a speck of chocolate in sight. If you haven’t tried a pavlova I hope you’ll make this one, you won’t regret it :)
Don’t be afraid of meringue, it has an undeserved reputation for being a fussy, when it’s not at all. Just check my simple tips, below, and you’ll be a champion right out of the blocks.
When the whites have been whipped to stiff glossy peaks you can spoon them onto a lined baking sheet in any shape or size you want. I made little nests but you can pile it all into one epic mound, or make a ring shape, too.
Don’t worry about being precise with your meringue, the sensual free form shape is definitely part of the charm of this dessert.
Use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each meringue…that’s where the whipped cream’s gonna go. The meringue will hold that exact shape while baking, so what you put into the oven is exactly what you’ll get coming out of the oven.
I’m convinced that the most delicious fruit to serve with a pavlova are raspberries, the flavor is transcendent… one taste of this raspberry sauce and I’m transported to the most perfect summer day.
To strain or not to strain, that’s the question only you can answer. I don’t mind raspberry seeds, but there are TONS of them, so I strained half the sauce, that way I got some seeds but wasn’t overwhelmed by them. We spooned the leftover sauce on ice cream and it was fantastic.
Making pavlova really isn’t difficult at all ~ just go into it with confidence. You can’t fail as long as you whip your egg whites until they are stiff and glossy, (a stand mixer helps with this enormously) and cook them low and slow.
Tips for making the perfect pavlova ~
- Avoid making meringue in very humid weather because it can go soft.
- Use room temperature egg whites, they whip better than cold.
- No yolks in your whites, please! Any grease, oil, or bit of yolk will prevent the whites from whipping to the max. Use a squeaky clean bowl and beaters, too.
- The little bit of lemon juice and cornstarch help to stabilize the meringue.
- Low slow baking is key, so make sure your oven is at 250F. I keep an oven thermometer hanging from my oven rack so I always know the actual temperature in my oven.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- a pinch of salt
- seeds of one vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch, sifted
- 3 small containers of fresh raspberries, about 18 ounces (set aside some of the berries to garnish your pavlovas)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp Amaretto (optional, use water instead)
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp confectioner's sugar, sifted
- reserved whole berries
- mint leaves
- confectioner's sugar
- Preheat the oven to 250F (an oven thermometer is a great tool to have in case your oven is not calibrated correctly) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until foamy. With the mixer going, add the salt and vanilla beans and then slowly add the sugar. Let the mixer go on high until the whites are stiff and glossy, see photo in the blog, above.
- Fold in the lemon juice and cornstarch.
- Spoon the meringue into 4 equal circles on the baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon to make a concave dip in the center of each, where the whipped cream will go later. (You can make 8 smaller meringues if you like.)
- Bake the meringues for 90 minutes, and don't disturb while baking. Then turn the oven off and crack the oven door open, and leave them in the oven for another hour.
- To make the raspberry sauce put the berries in a saucepan with the sugar and the Amaretto or water and heat, stirring, until the raspberries break down and get soft.
- Use an immersion blender or a small food processor to puree the sauce. You can strain out the seeds if you like, pushing the sauce through a mesh sieve to get as much of the sauce through as possible, while leaving the seeds behind. I strained half the sauce so that I still had some seeds remaining. Set aside. Note: you can also leave the raspberry sauce chunky and skip the blending entirely.
- Whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form.
- Assemble the pavlovas just before serving ~ put a nice dollop of whipped cream in the center of each meringue. Drizzle generously with raspberry sauce, then top with a few whole berries and mint leaves. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Make it your own ~
- Make it with other berries. Even though I like raspberries best, I can’t think of a berry that wouldn’t work with this pavlova.
- Make it with frozen berries. No need to thaw before using.
- Make it ahead. As long as the weather is not super humid, make the meringues and store loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. The raspberry sauce can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Whip the cream and assemble just before serving.
- Make it sugar free. Try Swerve sugar substitute to make a fluffy sugar free meringue.
- Make it dairy free. Use whipped coconut cream instead of the dairy cream.
- Make it vegan. Use the above coconut cream and make your meringues with aquafaba (bean water.)
Don’t forget to pin these elegant individual raspberry pavlovas!