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This exotic fruit pavlova is made with a crisp French meringue, then topped with a cloud of soft whipped cream, mango,pineapple and passion fruit. Dazzle your friends or family with this summery dessert of vibrant colors and tropical flavors. And believe me, even if it's intimidating, it's totally within the reach of beginners, and even unstoppable with all my advice!
🤔 What is Pavlova?
It's a dessert made with French meringue, whipped cream and fruit, named in 1926 in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, still considered the best classical ballet dancer. It then toured the world, stopping off in Australia and New Zealand, which explains why both countries claim to have created it.
It's super crispy and crunchy on the outside, and soft and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside. Topped with a light, barely sweetened whipped cream and fresh fruit.
💙 Why you'll love it
- It's incredibly good, REALLY good!
- I know that pavlova is a dessert that can seem complicated and intimidating to make, but with all my tips, it's impossible for you to fail!
- It can be adapted endlessly, with the fruits you like, such as this one with red berries.
- It's perfect for special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, or simply to treat yourself.
These are the main ingredients, and the quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
- Egg whites - ideally pasture-raised organic. You can refer to the Eco Tips I've written on eggs to help you choose the right ones.
- Powdered sugar: this is the finest type of sugar and will dissolve best in the egg whites. Do not use any other type of sugar instead (white, brown, coconut, etc.)!
- A little white vinegar: to help whites rise and prevent lumps.
- A little cornstarch: for a meringue that's crisp and crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside.
- Vanilla extract: to lightly perfume the meringue.
- Heavy cream: whole, not reduced fat in this recipe.
- Mascarpone cheese
- Exotic fruits such as mango, pineapple and passion fruit. You can also add papaya and dragon fruit (so good!) if you like.
✅ Gluten-free version
To make this recipe gluten-free, remove the white vinegar or check the label. Mascarpone and heavy cream are normally gluten-free, but check this too.
🥰 Chef's tips
Ingredients and utensils
- As European, I'm used to working in grams and milliliters. For savory dishes, the American measuring system can work just perfectly most of the time. But for anything sweet, I really recommend using a digital scale, which is much more precise. That way, you'll be sure to succeed with your recipes.
- Use eggs that have been at room temperature for at least 1 hour (personally, I never keep my eggs in the fridge).
- Be very careful when separating the egg whites from the yolks: there must be absolutely no fat (such as egg yolk) in the whites, otherwise they won't rise.
- Use clean, dry and cold utensils (if they come out of the machine hot, it won't work).
- You don't need salt to beat egg whites: it's a legend.
Preparing the egg whites
- Take your time whipping your egg whites and increase the speed of your mixer very gradually, so they hold much better. In terms of chemistry, when you whip up egg whites, you gradually incorporate air bubbles. The slower you raise your whites, the smaller and tighter the bubbles will be, and the better they will hold.
- To check that your meringue is ready : a peak should form when you remove the beater from the bowl, known as a bird's beak. If it stands on its own, the meringue is ready.
- Once ready, place the meringue on baking paper, decorate and place in a hot oven quickly, so that it doesn't fall apart.
- To bake, choose a slow, gentle method, which will produce a very white meringue.
- Use your oven's fan-forced heat mode: when baking, the heat will be evenly distributed and you'll obtain a homogeneous meringue.
- During baking: NEVER open the oven door under any circumstances. You risk it falling back or cracking.
- Don't neglect the meringue's "drying" time: it's crucial and imperative.
💡 Frequently Asked Questions
Probably because your oven temperature was too high.
Two reasons for that: you whipped your egg whites too quickly, and the air bubbles weren't tight enough, or the oven was too hot.
You can prepare the meringue the night before and let it dry in the turned-off oven overnight (without opening the door, as always). However, fill it with whipped cream and fruits at the last moment.
In the summer, think of a pavlova with red berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, or blueberries. Peaches or plums are also delicious.
In the fall, you can use apples, pears, figs, or grapes.
And in the winter, citrus fruits like orange, clementine, or grapefruit can bring a touch of freshness and color.
The French meringue that makes up the pavlova can be kept on its own for 1 week at room temperature. But once topped with whipped cream and fruit, I advise you to keep it in the fridge and eat it as soon as possible (max. within 24 hours) because the more time passes, the more it will soften.
🍑Other fruit desserts
If you make this tropical pavlova, it would be so nice to leave me a comment and rate the recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. You can also tag me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Tik Tok, or even send me a photo, I love seeing my little dishes in your homes!
For the meringue
- 4 egg whites (110g approx.)
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar (145g)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the mascarpone whipped cream
- ½ cup heavy cream (125g)
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese (55g)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
For the topping
- 1 ¼ cups exotic fruits mango, passion fruit, pineapple, dragon fruit, ... (150g)
- Sift your powdered sugar and set it aside. Whisk the egg whites at low speed with your electric mixer. When they start to foam, increase the power slightly.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract, white vinegar, and cornstarch while continuing to beat.
- Beat until you achieve a firm texture (this can take about 15 to 20 minutes). When you lift the beater from the bowl, a peak (called a bird's beak) should form on the meringue. If it holds on its own, the meringue is ready; otherwise, continue beating.
- On a parchment paper, trace a circle with a diameter of 6-inches / 16 cm using a ruler and a pencil.
- Preheat your oven to 200°F/95°C in convection mode. Place your meringue on the parchment paper and, using a large spoon, run along the edges of the meringue from bottom to top to give it a nice shape (see video in the article). Also, use the spoon on the top of the meringue to create a hollow (this is where you will put the whipped cream, so there should be some space).
- Once the oven is hot, bake it for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Note: Never open the oven door.
- At the end of the cooking time, turn off your oven and leave the meringue inside for an additional 2 hours to dry. Still, do not open the door!
The mascarpone whipped cream
- Once the meringue is dry and cold, move on to the whipped cream: start by sifting your powdered sugar and set it aside. Place the heavy cream and mascarpone in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer, and when the whipped cream starts to firm up, add the powdered sugar.
- Continue beating until you achieve a firm texture. If you move your bowl and the whipped cream doesn't move, it's ready!
- Fill your meringue with whipped cream, add the exotic fruits of your choice, and voila, the pavlova is ready to be enjoyed!