Blackberry Lime Pavlova
As the great Alyssa Edwards once said, I’m back back back back again!
Listen, life’s been a little hectic lately. Currently, I’m going through a career change, planning my own wedding, planning my honeymoon, working full-time, studying (or trying to), and working on some other little surprises. It’s enough for me to cringe at the thought of updating the blog, or even posting a picture on Instagram. But finally, I feel like I’m ready to get back into the realm of blogging. And what better way to start than with a simple pavlova recipe?
Now, some of you are probably thinking “what the hell is a pavlova?” Others may be familiar with it but are laughing at the fact that I called a meringue “simple.” But I promise, getting the perfect crunchy-fluffy-airy-crispy-light texture doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make it out to be!
For those that don’t know, a pavlova is an Australian creation of meringue topped with cream and fruit. It’s meant to be a nice cool dessert on those hot Aussie days that make your face want to melt off. Typical me, I made it in winter because I’m sick of snow on the ground and heater-cracked dry hands. I needed something summery to pick me up, so I decided to use some fruits that traditionally make you think of warmer days.
You might know that I’m a fan of lime. Like a big fan. Like a big, big fan. So naturally, I threw it in here as well. Meringue and whipped cream can be almost painfully sweet sometimes, so you need something a little more sour to keep the cavities from forming as soon as it hits your palate. The lime brings that zing, and it’s complemented perfectly by the blackberry jam. So if you decide to take this recipe and go your own way with it, make sure that you have an element in it to break through the sweetness!
The trick to the perfect meringue is to add the sugar slowly. Where I live, it’s hard to find caster sugar (which is just a finely ground sugar), and I don’t have a food processor (yet). So I use regular granulated sugar, and it’s doable as long as you take your time when you add it in. You also need a low and slow bake to make sure the meringue dries out without coloring. You want it as white as possible, so that the sugar doesn’t burn and affect the flavor. And once it’s done, leave it in the oven to cool! If you take it out and cool it on a countertop or in the fridge, the rapid temperature change will crack it and make it ugly. Treat a meringue like you would a very temperamental child, and you should be fine.
It can be intimidating to make a pavlova for the fist time, so take your time, read the instructions, and take note of what might have went wrong the first time. All it took was one grainy pavlova for me to learn my lesson about adding the sugar in slowly! Hopefully you won’t find it too difficult, and this will end up being something you serve whenever you’re craving something light and fruity. Happy baking!
Blackberry Lime Pavlova
For the meringue
- 3 large egg whites (no yolks allowed)
- pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
For the compote
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
For the whipped cream
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- zest of one lime
- Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the salt until they start to firm up. While mixing, add the sugar in a tablespoon at a time, giving the sugar time to dissolve within the egg whites. When the mixture is glossy and holding stiff peaks (a good test is to tilt the bowl – if they don't move, they're good to go), turn off the mixer and gently fold the cornstarch and lime juice in by hand.
- Use a spatula to gently dump the meringue onto the parchment paper in a circle roughly the size of a dinner plate. Using the spatula, spread the merengue out from the center so that the edges are raised and there's a dip in the middle – this dip will help hold the cream and compote later on. Bake in the oven for an hour, then turn off the oven without opening the door and allow the merengue to cool for another hour.
- While the meringue is cooling, make the compote. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, and lime juice. Cook over medium-high until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil. Be careful, as the mixture will froth, and molten sugar is hot! Cook at a low boil until the mixture is thickened, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely.
- When you're ready to assemble the pavlova, whip the cream and sugar together on high in a stand mixer until stiff peaks begin to form (about 5 minutes). Stir in the lime zest. Spoon the whipped cream into the merengue disk and top with blackberry compote and some more lime zest. Slice and serve, or just dig in with your fork and enjoy!
- The basis for this pavlova recipe came from King Arthur Flour.
- Take your time and make sure everything is properly whipped – you don't want anything collapsing!
- Assemble the pavlova right before serving and try not to have any leftovers; the compote and cream will run together in the fridge and get messy. If you think you'll have too much by making one big one, keep the ingredients refrigerated separately and make several individually portioned pavlovas instead!