Christmas time is magical…and so is this dessert. The Ultimate Christmas Pavlova.
Pavlova is a crispy, crusty meringue-based dessert with a soft, light and slightly chewy inside. It was first created in honour of Anna Pavlova, the Russian ballet dancer when she toured New Zealand and Australia in the 1920′s.
Today it’s a traditional festive dessert in Australia and New Zealand. One of the things we all have in common is that feeling of warmth and happiness when you spend Christmas with loved ones sharing and creating new traditions. Where there is good cheer, there is bound to be food of all sorts on the table. Everyone is helping out in the kitchenand there are great familiar smells wafting through the house. Those are certainly good memories from my past and present. Normally when you have big family gatherings, everyone is tasked with bringing a dish to add to the table. Why not make a crowd pleasing Christmas Pavlova to add to the festive table. After indulging all day on meats and side dishes, a light sweet treat is always welcome. Pavlovas are easy to make. The meringue shell can be made a day or two ahead and the whole dessert assembled a couple of minutes before serving.
For this particular pavlova the syrup can also be made ahead of time, refrigerated and used for other dishes too.
This Pavlova with Boozy Cherry Syrup recipe is fail proof and a favourite of mine. I love biting into that crispy outer shell, lapping up the contrasting flavours of the cherries and the cream. The sweet Port infused syrup adds that extra tang to it.
The surprise element of this Pavlova is the layer of sugar cookie crumbs lying just under the cream.
The whole package just looks so elegant. For another take on the Christmas Pavlova try this
Pavlova with Granadilla Pulp and Almond Praline Dust.
See the instructions below in the recipe under variations.
The Ultimate Christmas Pavlova and the Magic of Christmas
Elegantly light and crispy Pavlova topped with a Port infused cherry syrup.
8 large eggs, only whites needed
2 cups castor sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500 ml fresh cream, for whipping
1 ½ cups fresh cherries
1 cup sugar cookies
1 cup cherry syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
½ cup Port wine
Boil water, Port and sugar then add the cherries. Simmer until forming a thick syrup. Allow to cool, bottle and refrigerate until needed.
- 1 Preheat the oven to 120° C/110° if convection and place the racks in the middle.
- 2 Grease and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- 3 Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- 4 Now add the sugar gradually, a teaspoon at a time to allow for the sugar to dissolve properly.
- 5 While still beating, add the cream of tartar, cornflour and the vanilla.
- 6 Beat for another 30 seconds or so, until it just combines.
- 7 Spoon the mixture onto the baking trays, forming a circle about 20cm wide.
- 8 Using the spatula build the outside up but leaving a hollow in the middle – not too deep. This will be filled with the cookie crumbs, cream and the cherries later.
- 9 Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until you can see that it is firm. Watch the pavlova that it doesn’t burn, if it starts to turn brown, you should maybe turn the heat down slightly.
- 10 Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly open. Let the pavlova cool in the oven.
- 11 When cooled down, place the pavlova onto a serving plate carefully so as not to crack the delicate shell.
- 12 Now the cookie crumbs can be added, then add the whipped cream until it is slightly raised or level with the pavlova shell.
- 13 Decorate with whole cherries and drizzle the cherry syrup over the top.
For the Granadilla Pavlova substitute the cherries with granadilla pulp and sprinkle with Almond Praline Dust.