Well, it’s time to continue in my new mission of proving that there really is a Pavlova for every occasion.
This time? An Easter Egg Pavlova!
This one is a bit of a departure from my normal pavlovas, in the choice of fruit.
With the exception of my Halloween Pavlova, I tend to exclusively use fresh fruit on all of my Pavlovas. I prefer fresh fruit to canned in general, in terms of appearance, texture, and taste.
When it came to designing an Easter Pavlova, I started thinking about all the Watergate Salads, Cherry Fluff, and Ambrosia salads that tend to get served at Easter get togethers.
Also? I was just really in the mood to snarf some maraschino cherries - a guilty pleasure of mine.
... so, I decided to use canned fruit, as a result.
Canned fruit has a few benefits:
- Readily available; No worries about seasonality
- Easy. No need to peel anything, very little need to cut anything. (Kid friendly!)
- No time concerns. You can buy it ahead of time and use it when you’re ready to, instead of worrying that the raspberries are going to go bad before the kiwis are soft enough.
Will canned fruit make for a gorgeous, elegant Pavlova? Probably not.
However, it’ll be colourful, fun, easy, and something that kids can help decorate, should you feel so inclined to include them!
Flavouring your Easter Pavlova
As with all Pavs, I recommend considering your choice of fruit when it comes to picking the flavour you’ll use in the pavlova and/or whipped cream.
For the types of canned fruits I used, I like to use almond extract. It’s sort of reminiscent of maraschino cherries, and I find it works really well with the other fruits - and theme - as well.
For that matter, cherry extract could be fun with it, though - depending on brand - that could commit you to a pink egg.
Citrus extract also works really well - a lemon or orange flavoured base.
Or, you know... Vanilla works.
How to Make an Easter Pavlova
Pavlovas are super easy to make, if you keep a few basic things in mind. Here are a few tips to help you successfully make a Pavlova:
1. Eggs are easiest to separate when cold, and easiest to whip up when they’re room temperature.
Crack them right away when you take them out of the fridge, then cover the bowl and let it sit for a bit to warm to room temp. 10-15 minutes should be plenty of time, you don’t want to leave them out all day, as salmonella is a THING.
Honestly, if you have a good stand mixer - I LOVE my Kitchenaid! - you should be good to go, right out of the fridge. If you’re using a hand mixer... I’d let them warm up.
2. When cracking and separating your eggs, be VERY CAREFUL to not get any yolk in your whites.
Any yolk at all - even a speck - will prevent your whites from whipping up as they’re supposed to.
If you do get yolk in the whites, and can’t get it out... start from scratch. Seriously. You can make a nice omelette from those whites, but you won’t be able to get a Pavlova out of them.
3. Fat is the enemy of meringue
For the same reason yolks will mess you up, you also have to be careful to not let fat, oil, grease, etc touch your meringue.
Make sure your mixer and bowl are clean, and use a parchment lined baking sheet - do NOT grease it!
Also, when flavouring the meringue, be sure you’re not using an oil based flavour.
4. Don’t over-beat your egg whites
Over beating the egg whites can lead to a weeping meringue, and/or affect the texture. Get them to stiff peaks and that’s it!
5. Don’t open the oven door!
Once the pavlovas are in the oven, shut the door *and leave it shut* until you’re ready to use it. At the very least leave it in there for a few hours, for the sake of structural integrity.
I’ll usually leave it in there right up until I’m ready to assemble and serve it, as it’s nice and protected in there. Pavlovas are delicate and fragile and really, Murphy’s Law is a thing.
6. Understand that cracks are almost inevitable
Pavlovas crack - especially when you mound them up with whipped cream and fruit - and that’s just a fact of life. Embrace it.
Don’t mourn “perfection” lost, realize that it’s literally collapsing under the weight of its own awesomeness.
It’s all good!
7. Timing matters
Once you start whipping the cream for your Pavlova, the timer is started. Once you pile it on the pavlova, have your fruit good and ready to go, and be ready to serve it right away.
Whipped cream breaks down over time - unless you stabilize it with some gelatin. That’s neither here nor there, in this case, as Pavlovas need to be eaten pretty soon after assembling.
So, have everything ready to go when you make the whipped cream, serve it right away, and don’t leave anything behind - it really doesn’t hold up as leftovers.
8. Understand that “serving size” is a mere suggestion
Can this Pavlova serve 6 people (some say 8!)? Sure, when you’re listening to the same people who think that a serving size of dip is 2 Tbsp.
Personally, I think this makes 4 good sized servings... 2 if you’re ambitious.
Let me be honest, my husband and I have split every Pavlova I’ve blogged, usually with no leftovers.
Making an Easter Egg Shaped Pavlova
While you’re absolutely able to just freehand the egg shape, I like to draw a rough guideline, myself.
Partially because I have a habit of making my pavlovas too big for the plate they’ll be served on!
So, I recommend drawing even a rough egg shape onto your parchment paper. If not for shape, it helps for sizing!
I like to use a sharpie to draw the shape on, then flip it over so it’s marked side down on the baking sheet.
This keeps the marker out of your meringue, while still being able to see it through the parchment.
Also, if you're interested in gluten-free cooking and baking, you should definitely check out my gluten-free cookbooks: Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten Free Cooking & Baking, and the sequel... Beyond Flour 2. You can order them right here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.
More Easter Content!
Looking for more fun / tasty ways to observe Easter? Here are a few suggestions:
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Easter Egg Pavlova
- 4 Large Egg Whites
- Pinch Salt
- 1 cup Super Fine / Castor Sugar *
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Flavour Extract of choice NOT oil based!
- Food colouring Optional
The Whipped Cream
- 1 ¼ cup Heavy Cream
- 1-2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar optional
- 1 tsp Flavour extract of choice
- Food colouring optional
- Various types of canned fruit We used maraschino cherries, peaches, pineapple rings, and mandarin orange segments.
- Seedless grapes
- Other fresh fruit, as desired.
- Get ready: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking (cookie) sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Fit your electric mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Remove eggs from fridge, separate out the whites, and allow to warm to room temp (about 5 minutes).
- In your mixer bowl, beat egg whites together with salt until glossy peaks form.
- Slowly add in the sugar, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Turn off mixer, remove bowl.
- Sprinkle vinegar, cornstarch, extract, and food colouring (if using) over meringue, gently fold in till combined.
- Heap meringue onto the center of your baking sheet.
- Use a spatula to spread the meringue out to an egg shape.
- Put the baking sheet into your oven, and turn the temperature down to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Once your timer goes off, turn the oven off and let the meringue cool in the oven for several hours. The baking of the meringue can be done the day before, if needed!
- Just before serving, prepare the heavy cream.I like my pavlovas a little sweeter, so I add about 2 Tbsp of sugar – add as much or as little as you want. Purists may not want to sweeten the cream at all! I also like to add a little flavouring, again – optional
- Once heavy cream is whipped to the desired thickness, add the flavour extract and food colouring, mix until well incorporated.
- Mound the whipped cream on your pavlova, gently spreading it evenly over the top.
- Arrange drained fruit pieces on top, serve immediately!
More Pavlova Recipes
Do you love Pavlovas like we do? Awesome! I have several more super tasty Pavlova recipes for you...