This Mini Pavlova Recipe makes a naturally gluten free dessert. Fresh fruit floats on a cloud of whipped cream over a meringue base that's crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Mini pavlovas will impress guests, and they are deceptively easy to make!
The meringue and Lemon Curd parts of this dessert can be made ahead of time. The meringue recipe is on this page, and the amazing Lemon Curd recipe is here. Of course, you can purchase lemon curd, but I think you'll love the fresh flavour of your own! You'll use four egg whites for the meringue and the four yolks for the lemon curd.
Then, the pavlova can be assembled just before serving. Individual pavlovas present well, as they avoid the messiness of cutting into a big sticky meringue.
How to Make Pavlova Step by Step
Beat meringue ingredients until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the meringue into mounds.
Bake meringues in a low oven and leave inside to cool.
Place a baked, cooled meringue onto each serving plate.
Top each meringue with whipped cream.
Add a scoop of lemon curd.
Top with fresh berries and serve.
Mini Pavlova Recipe Tips
There are a few things you can do to make the serving of this elegant dessert even easier.
- Make the lemon curd a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed against the surface.
- Make the meringues a day ahead or early in the morning.
- At least an hour ahead, refrigerate the clean bowl and beaters that you plan to use for whipping the cream. Keep the cream chilled until you're ready to whip it.
- About an hour ahead, rinse the berries and let them sit in a colander in the sink to drain.
- Just before serving, put everything together.
Frequently Asked Questions
A meringue is "an item of sweet food made by baking a mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar until crisp." A pavlova has a meringue base or shell, usually topped with whipped cream and fruit. The meringue for pavlova is typically crispy on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside. A French meringue is dried right through and has a harder texture due in part to being baked longer at a lower temperature.
Yes! The meringue base of pavlova can easily be made the day before. In fact, I recommend that. Anything that can be done ahead makes the serving of food easier and more enjoyable. If you've made your meringue in the evening, you can simply leave it in the oven overnight with the heat turned off and the door closed. Once it has completely cooled, it stores well sealed in an airtight container.
Vinegar helps the egg whites to hold their stiffly-beaten volume.
Don't open the oven while cooking meringue. Leave it closed to maintain even temperature and low humidity levels.
Pavlova is a perfect dessert with an Easter ham dinner.
You might also like...
- Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Roasted Asparagus
- Maple Glazed Carrots with Pecans
- Mini Lemon Tartlets
- Fruit Salad with Whipped Cream
Mini Pavlova Recipe
- 4 egg whites at room temperature (Use the yolks for lemon curd.)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) white vinegar
- ¼ cup (63 g) raw cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) cornstarch
Mini Pavlova Assembly
- 8 mini meringues
- 4 cups (1 L) whipped cream
- 1 cup (250 mL) lemon curd
- 3 - 4 cups (1 L) fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat egg whites and vinegar in a clean bowl until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes.)
- Add the sugar. Beat until the egg whites become glossy and stiff (about 30 more seconds.)
- Add the vanilla and cornstarch and beat another 30 seconds.
- Gently spoon the meringue into 8 mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Press an indent into the centre of each meringue, allowing the sides to come up higher to contain the toppings.
- Place the sheet of meringues into the oven. Immediately turn the oven temperature down to 200°F. Bake them for 90 minutes, keeping the oven door closed. Then, without opening the oven, turn off the heat and allow the meringues cool.
- Store cooled meringues in a tightly covered container at room temperature.
Mini Pavlova Assembly
- Place a meringue onto each serving plate.
- Scoop some whipped cream onto each meringue base.
- Spoon a rounded tablespoon of lemon curd onto each.
- Top each serving with a sprinkling of fresh berries.
HETTY STUART says
I made these pavlovas to celebrate year-end for school for our grandchildren. They were delicious! The lemon curd was a very nice twist - I've always used a chocolate sauce. I didn't have to beat the egg white mixture as long as you had suggested: the mixture was getting too dry. The cornstarch in the egg mixture is exactly the touch necessary to give the meringues a lovely texture. It was also so refreshing to make a recipe that used up all the yolks with the whites. We will make this one again!
Thank you for your feedback, Hetty! I'm glad you enjoyed the pavlovas. I also appreciate the tip about the time required to beat the egg whites. Perhaps if others find the same, I'll need to adjust the instructions.
I have edited the recipe to reduce the time for beating egg whites.
Can you use apple cider vinegar?
I'm sorry, Kathleen. I have not tested this recipe with apple cider vinegar. I wondered about using it yesterday when I was making this recipe for friends. In the end, I bought some white vinegar because I didn't want the flavour affected. Now that you've asked, I may try making the meringues with apple cider vinegar. Then, I'll have an answer the next time someone asks.