Would you like to win ooohs and aaahs from your family and friends? Are you searching for kudos from dinner parties? Well, I have a very simple yet impressive dessert for you. Pavlova.

Pavlovas were incredibly popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and again in the ’70s, but unless you are from Australia or New Zealand, Pavlova is possibly a dessert that you have never tried.

Boy are you missing out! Beautiful in its simplicity, this dessert is a sweet delight. Pavlova is a meringue dessert named for the famous Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova.  Pavlova was the first ballerina to tour the world. Her most recognized work was that of the Dying Swan, which inspired many performances of “Swan Lake.”

During her visit to New Zealand in the 1920s, Pavlova was honored to receive this special dessert created just for her. The light, sweet, fluffy dessert has stood the test of time. Pavlova is an ideal dessert to showcase the summer fruits we are so fortunate to have an abundance of.  Berries, kiwis, and peaches all work wonderfully. I encourage you to try something different. I am certain you will find a new favorite.



For Pavlova you will need:

Fresh whipped cream
Assorted fruit

6 egg whites

2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Prepare a water bath: add water to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.

In the bowl of an electric mixer add the egg whites and sugar. Place over water bath. Whisk the sugar and egg white mixture until warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved. This takes about 4-5 minutes.

Place on the mixer and add the salt. Whip until stiff peaks appear, about 2-3 minutes.

On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, scoop out the desired shape of your Pavlova. I like to make individual desserts, but it is entirely up to you. Taking a small spoon and form a well into each mound of meringue, being careful not to make the bottom too thin.

Pop into the oven for about an hour to an hour and a half. The meringues should be dry to the touch, yet still nice and white. At this point I just turn the oven off and allow the meringues to dry out a little more as they cool in the oven. You can also transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Final steps:

Just before serving, make your fresh whipped cream. Scoop a dollop on top of the meringue. Sprinkle seasonal berries, kiwis, or peaches over whipped cream. Serve to many, MANY smiles.


Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding 11 years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.

Copyright 2009 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit her blog at

Andrea Charroin
Andrea Charroin is a trained baker and pastry chef. She worked in San Francisco before she, her husband, Westley, and their two sons moved to Redding. They fell in love with Redding’s downtown and opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie.
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7 Responses

  1. Mom says:

    Lucky me I had my first Pavlova at a beautiful farm in New Zealand. The host would not share her recipe so looking forward to making the lovely dessert soon.

  2. Kelly Brewer says:

    That looks easy enough even I can make it. And it looks heavenly.

  3. Doug says:

    I shall make ant eat several batches, but will wear a black armband as I have not had an RJ croissant in three years:(

  4. Suzanne Broughton says:

    Thanks for the lesson and the wonderful recipe!

  5. Dorothy Nethery says:

    I do not like to cook anymore, but this looks too easy not to try! I will substitute, Stevia for the sugar and hope it works. I miss your marathon bars!

  6. Janet Tyrrel says:

    Our dear friend Janet Corkill makes a fabulous Pavlova dessert. She prepares it as a large (pizza pan size) meringue and fills it with the whipped cream and fresh fruits. She and husband Guy (neurosurgeon) are British but have lived in Redding for 25 years…they are in the process of citizenship. This and an English trifle have introduced me to desserts 'way beyond my Midwestern roots.

    Thanks Andrea for your community interests and contributions!

  7. Norma Lee says:

    Andrea, how I do love a new recipe and yours are the BEST! Had been searching for a good Peanut Butter Cookie recipe since I lost my Mother in 04' and her recipe somehow got lost. This sounds very much like I remember hers.

    Glenbrooke Community

    Elk Grove, CA

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