This pull-apart pavlova wreath is the perfect dessert to serve this Christmas. Not only is it so delicious and beautiful, it’s one of the most festive recipes you can make and will be the perfect center piece.
If making meringue intimidates you, I’ve got you. This recipe is incredibly easy and because you’re making mini pavlovas, instead of one big one, there is so much less that can go wrong. Pavlova is one of my favorite desserts because it is SO versatile and you can use any fruit you like or have on hand. Apple or pears all your supermarket has? No problem! Cook them down with some sugar, butter and cinnamon and make a cozy apple pie pavlova. Want something more tropical? Add cubes of mango and some fresh passionfruit to the top.
Berries and mint are my chosen toppings for Christmas for obvious reasons but stewed plums or pomegranate would be just as festive!
Table of Contents
- Egg whites. I used fresh egg whites.
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar. Using icing sugar ensures the sugar dissolves into the egg whites much quicker and creates a really lovely chewy texture once baked.
- Vanilla extract.
- Cream. Heavy cream or whipping cream.
- Fresh fruit of your choice.
How to make pavlova
The most important thing to remember when making meringue/pavlova is that your bowl and beaters/mixer needs to be as clean as a whistle. Any fat or grease will prevent the egg whites from whipping into firm, beautifully glossy peaks. Add your egg whites to a large, clean bowl then whip until foamy. I usually use my stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for this but you can use a hand mixer too. Once foamy, add all of the sifted icing sugar and continue whipping until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Mix in the cornstarch and vanilla extract.
Pipe or spoon little mounds of meringue onto a lined baking sheet then using a teaspoon, create a little indent in each (this will create a little hole for the cream and fruit to nestle into). Place the mini pavlovas into a preheated oven and bake for 90 minutes then turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. This will prevent the meringue from deflating. Once cool, remove from the oven.
Whisk the cream with a few tablespoons of icing sugar. Always start slower when whipping cream. If you whip the cream too vigorously, large air bubbles will form which will later pop and leave you with soft, weepy cream. Whip the cream to medium-stiff peaks. Pack the pavlovas in a wreath shape on a large serving platter or board then spoon a little cream into each meringue nest. Top with fresh fruit of your choice and serve.
Can I make this in advance?
Usually, I would say no. But I made this pavlova wreath then stored in the fridge for 36 hours and the meringue held up incredibly well, as did the cream. The meringue was still crisp on the outside with a chewy, marshmallowy texture inside and the cream didn’t weep or make the meringue soft. However, I would still not recommend fully assembling the pavlova wreath too far in advance as the fruit tends to go a little soft and sad. The meringues can be baked the day before and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Christmas dessert recipes
Pull Apart Pavlova Wreath
For the Meringue
- 6 extra-large egg whites
- 2 cups icing sugar / powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Pavlova wreath
- 3 cups cream Heavy cream/whipping cream
- 1 cup icing sugar / powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- fresh fruit (berries)
- fresh mint
- Preheat the oven to 90°C/195°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.
- Add the icing sugar then continue beating until the egg whites are bright white, voluminous and form stiff peaks when the beaters are pulled out of the mixture. (This could take up to 8 minutes)
- Add the cornstarch and vanilla and whip until combined.
- Pipe or spoon small mounds of meringue (approximately 5cm in diameter) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 5cm space in between them.
- Using a teaspoon, make a little dent in each pavlova.
- Place in the oven and allow to bake for 60 minutes then switch the oven off and allow to cool completely (approximately 2 hours) before removing from the oven.
- Once cool, remove the meringues from the oven then place in a wreath shape on a large serving platter or board.
- Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla together until medium-stiff peaks form.
- Spoon some of the cream onto each pavlova and decorate with fresh fruit and mint.