Monday, February 2, 2015

What does Geoffrey Rush have to do with pavlova?

Photo from here a lovely blog.
(This isn't mine but mine looks so similar but add mango, banana and passionfruit to the kiwi fruit and blueberries with raspberries if Alex hasn't eaten them yet).

At Christmas time, I wanted to make a pavlova for our dessert. We have some celiac relatives and I figured this was the easiest option, it's also cool and refreshing and with our fabulous fruits in season, a real winner. When I looked for a recipe, it came up with this Martha Stewart recipe - "courtesy of Geoffrey Rush"!

The clip is no longer available (and I have looked) but it seems to be about 8 years ago and apparently it is a recipe that his Grandmother used to make. Well I made it too and it's fabulous. I had only ever made one pavlova before and it wasn't great. I was always a bit fearful of making them, but it's really easy. It's a great dessert because it is quick - takes about 10 minutes to whip up and then only 1 hour in the oven and leave it in there to cool completely. It's also made with pretty basic things you always have on hand (or me at least) - sugar, vinegar, egg whites and corn flour, plus cream and fruit.

Of course I don't have a photo of any I made during this period. I made 2 to take to Christmas lunch, one to take to a friend's birthday dinner, one to the baby shower with quilt and another one for the Christmas bbq we had when Alex came back from the U.K. That's a lot of pavlovas in just 5 weeks! They all went down a treat. I must say I am not a fan of the commercial ones that are full of marshmallow type fluff...I'm not an egg fan so this reminds me of raw egg. I prefer my pavlova to be crunchy so I make mine about 2.5cm high which then rises a little. I also make it in a rectangle shape to the size of a large Tupperware container I have for transportation and airtightedness (ha what a word). I usually whip the cream with no icing sugar as I find the pavlova sweet enough but always put in some real vanilla bean (the pavlova too). I take a selection of cut up fruits and let people put their own cream and fruit to cater to the usual fusiness personal preferences.

Anyway, the recipe. I've just copied and pasted it here but really most pavlova recipes I've checked since seem to be very, very similar. Have a go for summer... it's easy and it impresses! Let me know if you try this or are adept at making pavlovas.


  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped 
  • Fruit - these are the fruits I like, add whatever you like:
  • Passion fruit
  • Bananas
  • Mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • Mango

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Trace the perimeter of a 15cm bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer parchment paper, pencil side down, to a baking sheet. Set aside. (when I make mine, I trace around the rectangle baking tray I like to use. )
    2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together until glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add sugar in three additions, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla; gently fold to combine.
    3. Mound the meringue in the center of the 15cm circle (I  don't make it very high so it gets to about 5cm high so it stays pretty crunch!)v Using a spatula, evenly spread meringue out towards the edges. Transfer baking sheet to oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 120 degrees celsius. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
    4. Turn off oven and let meringue cool completely in oven. When meringue is cool and completely dry, top with whipped cream and desired fruits.

      5. Eat!


  1. I do like a good 'pav'. I've only ever made a couple, but I've cheated on both occasions and used 'Pavlova Magic'. One day I might make one from scratch :)

    1. You know Vanessa, pavlova magic is just dried egg white and the 'magic' is the egg shaped container that is the exact measuring sizes for the sugar and water to reconstitute the egg whites. That was my first pavlova because I thought there was magic in it... when I realised I'd just paid $4.50 for 4 egg whites, I found the recipe above and it worked so perfectly I won't go back. Have a go .. I bet you'll be as surprised as I was at how easy it is.


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