In the Kitchen: Summer Fruit Pavlova Topped with Cream

Food & Entertainment

Today we’re bringing you the last in a series of recipes from a simple summer dinner party we hosted last month. (Find our other recipes from the occasion here: Grapefruit and Chamomile Paloma + Seared Scallops and Crispy Potatoes.) It is my belief that hosting doesn’t have to mean spending endless hours in the kitchen, preparing delicacies for guests. Bringing people into your home is all about sharing good conversation and good, simple food with the people you love.

For the dessert portion of the evening, I whipped up a summer fruit pavlova from Simple Cake, a beautiful cookbook by Odette Williams that’s chock-full of recipes for easy-to-make, delectable cakes for any occasion. Pavlova is the perfect way to show off the flavors of this bountiful season. This particular recipe calls for just eight ingredients and features a heaping serving of fresh fruit, making it an ideal dessert for the finale of any summer get together. You can use any kind of fruit you have on hand, but it works especially beautifully with stone fruits. The best part? You don’t have to make a perfect meringue because you just coat the whole cake in whipping cream!

What are you waiting for? Go forth and make this cake for your next summer gathering. Everyone is sure to enjoy the heck out of it. I promise.

Simple Cake: Summer Fruit Pavlova


For the Pavlova:

  • 1 1/2 cups castor or granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar, plus a splash for wiping utensils
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3 cups various summer berries

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar


For the Pavlova:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a large flat baking tray with parchment paper. Draw a guide by tracing around an 8-inch round cake pan for a Pavlova.
  3. Flip the parchment paper upside down so the marking doesn’t end up on the meringue.
  4. If you are using granulated sugar, grind it in a food processor or put it in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin, until it’s fine, like caster sugar.
  5. Wipe a little vinegar over the whisk attachment and the mixing bowl of an electric mixer to make sure it’s free from any fat residue. Add the egg whites to the bowl, making certain there is no yolk.
  6. Beat the egg whites on low speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium. Beat until the egg whites have soft peaks, about 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch. Increase the speed to medium-high and, without stopping the mixer, gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the meringue is smooth, glossy, and tripled in volume.
  7. Finally, add the teaspoon of vinegar and the vanilla and mix until just combined.
  8. Dollop a finger of meringue in the corners of the tray to secure the paper. Using the circle you have traced as your guide, pile the meringue high onto the center of the circle. Using a spatula or a spoon, gently work the meringue to fit the circle and create a slight indentation in the center.
  9. Turn the oven temperature down to 250°F. Place the baking tray in the center of the oven. For the Pavlova, bake for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the outside is crisp and the center soft. For the individual meringues, bake for approximately 40 minutes; check on them after the first 10 minutes to make sure they’re not browning too much. If they are, turn the oven down a little bit more.
  10. When meringue has baked, turn off the oven. Leave the tray in the oven to cool completely. Remove the Pavlova from the oven just before serving.
  11. Just before serving, make the Vanilla Whipped Cream. Spoon the cream onto the top of the meringue, leaving half an inch around the perimeter. Top with the berries: start with the larger strawberries and then pile the more-delicate berries on top.

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream:

  1. Pour the cream into a cold large metal bowl.
  2. Add vanilla extract and sugar.
  3. Using a balloon whisk, begin to whisk the cream until it has doubled in volume, has smooth soft peaks, and is light and fluffy.

Purchase Simple Cake, $14.99 on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

BY Kate Arends - July 23, 2019

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July 27, 2019 1:17 am

Yummy! I can’t wait to try it!

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