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Blossom Lady
Jun 20, 2024 04:01 PM

Dress up your dessert table with a gorgeous pavlova—a cloud-like dessert featuring a crisp, marshmallowy meringue topped with rich whipped cream and vibrant berries, perfect for any special occasion. (Bonus: it’s gluten-free!)

Pavlova, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, is a wonderfully light dessert with a crisp meringue shell encasing a soft, marshmallowy center, all topped with heaps of whipped cream and fresh fruit. Believed to have been created in the ballerina’s honor during her tours of Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s, it’s as stunning as it is delicious—perfect for any special occasion.

While the classic pavlova recipe typically includes meringue, whipped cream, and fruit, I have a couple of tricks to really enhance its flavor and texture. First, I enrich the whipped cream with a bit of mascarpone cheese, giving the dessert an extra layer of richness and creaminess that makes it feel more luxurious and substantial. Second, I macerate the berries in sugar and lemon juice. It’s a simple and optional step, but it deepens their sweetness and makes the whole dessert pop—definitely worth it if you have the time.

For the Pavlova
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch

For the Whipped Topping
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream, cold
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • Pinch salt

For the Fruit Topping
  • 1 pound (3 cups) mixed berries or macerated berries
  • A few fresh mint leaves (optional)
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