Pavlova with cranberries and whipped cream
Beautiful cranberry pavlova that will definitely be a great addition to your Christmas dinner table! It’s the perfect time of year to make and cranberries and pavlova are a perfect combination.
How to make a cranberry pavlova
I’ve made many pavlova’s but I had never tried to give the pavlova a certain shape. I saw it at Call me Cupcake and figured it was a fancy way of adding some extra excitement to this pavlova dessert. I do think it makes the end result look fancier although I might have baked it a tiny bit too long so it slightly brownish on the sides. That said; let’s dive into this pavlova!
Important steps voor making the perfect pavlova with cranberries
- Ingredients Quality: Start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Use fresh eggs at room temperature, good quality caster sugar, and pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Clean Utensils: Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are clean and free of any grease or residue. Any trace of fat can interfere with the egg whites’ ability to whip up properly. I sometimes make sure to get that right by rubbing a half sliced lemon around the bowl I’m using.
- Egg Whites: Separate the egg whites carefully, ensuring that no traces of egg yolk are present. Even a small amount of yolk can prevent the whites from achieving stiff peaks. Use eggs at room temperature for better volume. For breaking the eggs I use three bowls. I separate one egg, have one bowl for the egg yolk, one for the egg whites and one for the final quantity. So after each egg I transfer the egg white into the final bowl. That might seem like a lot of hassle but believe me, if you’ve cracked 6 eggs and the last one goes wrong? You’re glad you’ve only spilled one egg and not all six.
- Room Temperature: Allow all your ingredients to come to room temperature before starting. This helps the ingredients incorporate better and results in a smoother mixture.
- Gradual Sugar Addition: Add the granulated sugar to the egg whites gradually, one spoonful at a time, while whipping. This ensures that the sugar dissolves completely, leading to a glossy and stable meringue. You don’t want to have sugar granules in your egg whites. First whip the egg whites with the whisk attachment to soft peaks. Once there you start adding the sugar and continue until the meringue is glossy and has stiff peaks. Using superfine sugar helps too.
- Stiff Peaks: Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This means that when you lift the beaters, the peaks should stand up straight without folding over. Be patient; this process may take several minutes.
- Cornstarch and Vinegar: Add a mixture of cornstarch and vinegar to the whipped egg whites. This helps create a pavlova with a crisp exterior and a marshmallow-like interior.
- Shape and Texture: Form the pavlova into a nest shape with a slightly indented center to hold the filling. Ensure that the exterior is smooth and the walls of the pavlova are not too thin to prevent collapsing.
- Low and Slow Baking: Bake the pavlova at a low temperature for a longer time. This allows the pavlova to dry out gradually, giving it a crisp exterior while keeping the inside soft and marshmallow-like.
- Cooling: Allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven with the door slightly ajar. This prevents sudden temperature changes, which can cause cracking.
- Filling: Add the filling just before serving to maintain the pavlova’s crispness. Fresh fruits, whipped cream, and a drizzle of fruit coulis are popular choices.
- Serve Immediately: Pavlova is best enjoyed fresh. Serve it soon after adding the filling to preserve the delightful contrast between the crisp shell and the soft interior.
You can actually keep the pavlova if you want in an airtight container. But only if it hasn’t been decorated yet. So the empty pavlova can be kept in a container until you’re ready to use it. Once decorated eat straight away.
Low and slow
For this pavlova I use the oven at a temperature of 150˚C (300˚F) I made one large pavlova but you can also make mini pavlovas if you prefer. Keep in mind that they do need a shorter time to cook through. I roughly draw a circle in the middle of a piece of parchment paper and place that upside down (so the drawing is on the flip side) on a large baking tray I place the whipped meringue in the middle of the circle and I start shaping the pavlova anyway I want. You can use a large spoon or spatula to create the shape but of course you can also just make it a more natural shape. It does help to have a bit of an indent in the middle for the decorations. Not a must.
The fun part
Now comes the fun part; the decorating of the pavlova. At least that’s what I think is fun. I have used my favorite cranberry sauce for this recipe but instead of blending it smooth I’ve used slightly less lemon juice in the recipe and didn’t use a stick blender so I was left with a delicious cranberry compote. I always make my cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries and instead of water I use orange juice, cinnamon sticks and star anis to make the cranberry mixture. You can also use a cranberry curd if you want.
An addition to the topping would be pomegranate arils. I find they work well with cranberry and I just love the look of them. In addition to the cranberry you need – of course lots of cream. I beat the double cream with a few tbsp sugar and an electric mixer till it has somewhat stiff peaks. I generously cover the top of the pavlova with the whipped cream and top it with the cranberry compote next. Of course if you want you can add any kind of fresh fruit you like. I sometimes add a little bit of orange zest to the cranberry sauce.
Fan of pavlova?
Pavlova with cranberries
- baking tray
- Baking paper
- Stand mixer
- 4 large egg whites
- 225 g granulated sugar fine sugar
- 6 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 250 ml whipping cream
- cranberry compote
- Preheat the oven to 150˚ C. (300˚F)
- Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Put the cornstarch through a sieve and fold it into the eggwhites together with the vinegar.
- On a baking tray lined with baking paper make a circle of about 18 cm wide of the meringue and place in the oven. Turn down the oven temperature to 120˚ C (250˚F) and leave it in for an hour. Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool in the oven completely.
- Once cooled you can top the pavlova with whipped cream and the cranberry compote or fresh fruit of your choice.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.