Ahh, pavlova! This delicate meringue dessert has captured the hearts and taste buds of dessert-lovers for decades! If you’ve never had a fruit pavlova, you’re missing out! This easy recipe for mini fruit pavlovas is the perfect way to start! They’re made with crunchy meringue shells, topped with delicate whipped cream, fruit and a tart raspberry sauce. These delicate and show-stopping mini pavlovas are great for a special dinner or cocktail party.
The history behind the pavlova dessert is quite interesting, too! It’s believed to be named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. On a tour to Australia and New Zealand during the 1920’s, the local pastry chefs wanted to create a special dessert just for her. I think the pavlova captures the characteristics of the ballerina so well – simple, yet elegant; light and effortless!
How to Make Perfect Meringue
Making meringue can seem very intimidating because it’s something that go wrong very quickly! Here are a few tips to make these mini pavlovas perfect every time!
- Start with a clean mixing bowl. This is SO important! I always wash my mixing bowl and whisk attachment with a degreasing soap and white vinegar. Any residual grease will cause the egg whites to fall flat and there is no way to fix that.
- Try adding cream of tartar. Cream of tartar can be used as a stabilizer for pavlova. Corn starch will also work well.
- Bake low and slow. Baking the meringue at a lower temperature ensure that it stays beautiful and white, without any scorching.
Make Ahead Dessert!
The light-as-air meringue shells can be prepared ahead of time. Just allow them to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container. You can also prepare the whipped cream ahead of time and keep it stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve dessert, top the shells with whipped cream, loads of fresh berries and fruit and some raspberry sauce. The raspberry sauce is such a great addition to this recipe! Pavlova is usually a bit sweet and adding the tart raspberry sauce helps balance out the sweetness. This dessert is best if served with an hour of assembling.
Looking for more pavlova recipes? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Berry Lemon Pavlova – Pure Elegance! A classic pavlova recipe, topped with lemon curd, berries and whipped cream!
- Try my ‘Chocolate Lavender Blackberry Pavlova’ next, with lavender whipped cream and blackberries!
- And this Chocolate Berry Pavlova Cake is simply stunning, with loads of fruit and chocolate whipped cream!
- Boccone Dolce – this delicate and light fruity cake is made with pavlova layers!
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Mini Fruit Pavlova with Raspberry Sauce
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
For Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon cognac or gold rum
For Raspberry Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups fresh fruit and/or berries
- Preheat oven to 180F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 6, 5-inch circles, spaced 1 to 2 inches apart. Prepare a large pastry bag tipped with a star tip.
- Place egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into a clean, heavy-duty mixer bowl. Turn mixer to highest speed and whisk eggs for approximately 7 to 8 minutes, until egg whites are stiff and almost the consistency of marshmallow crème. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and whisk again for a minute. Transfer the meringue into prepared pastry bay. Pipe 1-inch tall, 5-inch wide circles of meringue onto prepared parchment paper, starting from the outside and work your way into the center.
- Bake meringues in preheated oven for 2 ½ hours. Turn oven off and leave door closed until meringues cool completely. At NO point open the oven door. The cool air will cause the meringues to crack! They will be cool in 3 to 4 hours; I leave mine in the oven overnight.
- Meanwhile, prepare raspberry sauce. Place raspberries, brandy and syrup/sugar into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook raspberries for 8 to 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and using a spatula, strain raspberry sauce through fine-sieve strainer. If you have a dispenser bottle, pour the syrup into the bottle and set aside.
- When ready to serve, prepare the whipped crème. Place heavy cream, sugar and brandy into mixer bowl. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Spread generous amount of crème over prepared meringue, top with fruit and syrup. Serve immediately.