Have you ever done something for fun, then had to worry about the possibility of pissing off an entire country?
I'm sorry, Australia! I love you guys, hope you enjoy this nonsense 🙂
In my defence, this is a proper Pavlova on paper. It's a traditional Pavlova meringue base, topped with actual whipped cream, drizzled with a fruit sauce, and piled on with fruit.
The 3 fruits used aren't anything that would even raise an eyebrow, and are all fruits I've put on Pavlovas before: Raspberries in my Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova, Blueberries in my Blueberry Pavlova, and Lychees in my Matcha Green Tea Pavlova.
All good, right?
The thing is, even the most innocuous, basic ingredients can become something wild, when assembled in a very specific way.
Making bloody eyeballs from lychees, jam, and blueberries is not only fun, it's highly entertaining - and effective! - when designing a menu for Halloween treats. I've done a couple posts using the idea before - first with my Halloween Shooters, and then more recently with my Bloody Eyeball Halloween Punch.
(The punch is made even MORE fun with the addition of dry ice, and there's a TON of info about that in the post!)
Flavouring your Halloween Pavlova
I’m of two minds when it comes to flavouring this pavlova.
On one hand, given the Halloween theme and all, using straight up candy type flavours are definitely an option. We used a pineapple flavouring we bought at Seafood City, it tasted like pineapple candy (but not really like pineapple!)
On the other hand, you could be a bit of a troll and do something super elegant. I kind of like the idea of using something like rosewater, for a pavlova that looks like THIS. It would actually work, too - the lychees have a very floral flavour, IMHO.
Or, you know... Vanilla works.
How to Make Lychee Bloody Eyeballs
Making Bloody Eyeball lychees is quick and easy! Be sure to do this before whipping the heavy cream, so they’re good to go!
First, strain your lychees well. I like to reserve the syrup for later use - you can make wine with it, use it in cocktails, or sweeten green tea with it.
Sort through your lychees, and set aside any that are jacked up - cracked wide open, ragged, etc. You want ones that are in one piece and look good.
Next, spoon a few tablespoons of seedless red jam - I like currant, but raspberry and strawberry also work well - into a pastry bag. Snip a small amount of the end off.
Stick the tip of your pastry bag into the opening of a lychee, and pipe in a small amount of jam. Don’t fill it all the way, you need to leave a bit of room for the blueberry!
Note: For the lychees with a REALLY big cavity, I’ll usually put an extra blueberry in first, to take up some of the space. Then I’ll put the jam in.
Finally, pop a blueberry in. You want one roughly the size of the opening. Set it most of the way in, just bulging slightly outside of the opening.
If any excess jam seeps out, I like to sort of sweep it around the outer edge of the lychee opening. It’ll settle into the cracks and make the “eyes” look bloodshot!
Repeat with your remaining lychees.
How to Make a Halloween 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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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, with no leftovers. This one, we destroyed while watching Battle of the Blades, in our living room, in PJs. Elrohir was VERY interested, as you can see.
More Halloween Ideas
If you're still considering ideas for Halloween, be sure to check out my:
Bloody Eyeball Halloween Punch
Easy Halloween Bat Cupcakes
Halloween Shot Recipes
Halloween Spider Web Cookies
Halloween Spider Web Cupcakes
3D Halloween Bat Cupcakes
How to Carve a Halloween Pumpkin Like a Pro
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.
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Now, on to that Bloody Eyeball Halloween Pavlova recipe!
Bloody Eyeball Halloween 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 We used black
The Bloody Eyeballs
- 2 cans Lychees Drained
- Seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
- 1 cup Fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup Seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
- ¼ cup Honey
The Whipped Cream
- 1 ¼ cup Heavy Cream
- 1-2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar optional
- 1 tsp Flavour extract of choice
- Food colouring We used lime green
- Get ready: Preheat your oven to 350 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 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 approximately an 8-9″ circle. If you want to get really fancy, put the meringue into a pastry bag and pipe it out as a mass of swirls that form your 8″ circle! It’s really up to you! For this pavlova, I went around the outside, using the spatula to drag meringue upwards.
- 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!
The Bloody Eyeballs
- Make sure the lychees are really well drained before making your bloody eyeballs. Sort through the lychees - you'll want the ones that are in one piece - not split wide open - and look good.
- Put a few Tbsp worth of jam into a pastry bag, cut a small amount off the tip. Place the tip of the pastry bag into the larger opening of a lychee. Pipe a small amount of jam into the cavity, but don't fill it all the way.
- Pick out a blueberry that's about the same size as the opening of your lychee, and gently push it in. It should sit mostly inside the lychee, bulging out a bit.
- If the interior of a lychee is really big, I'll usually put a blueberry in first, THEN pipe a bit of jam in
- If any jam seeps out, I'll usually swipe it over the outer edge of the lychee, so it fills the cracks. This makes the "eyes" look bloodshot!
- Repeat with remaining lychees
- Whisk together the jam and the honey until smooth. I like to do this in a glass measuring cup, as it makes it easy to drizzle it over the Pavlova.
- 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, drizzle with the sauce "blood". I like to drizzle it over the sides of the Pavlova, as shown
- Arrange "Bloody eyeball" lychees on top, serve immediately!