As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fruit On Tuesday ~ Week 2 {Blackberry Pavlova}

Pavlova is an elegant summer dessert. 

A popular holiday dessert in Australia, pavlova is named for the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova. It consists of a very light meringue layer, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, usually some kind of berries. (We have made pavlova with strawberries for Mother's Day a couple of times.)

photo by Bekah

This week, I thought I'd get a jump on Fruit on Tuesday. I made the meringue part of the pavlova on Monday evening while preparing dinner. (First mistake.) After dinner, the girls and I went out to run a couple of quick errands. Before we left, I peeked into the oven, saw the golden brown meringue, and declared it a success . I propped open the oven door, per my recipe, and out we ran.  (Second mistake.)

An hour later, we were back home. I was ready to whip the cream and assemble the dessert, but when I retrieved the pavlova from the oven, it had fallen and was sticky.  Definitely underdone.  

This morning, I had another go at it. As I gave it my full attention (not making dinner this time), I realized that I had omitted two-thirds of the sugar last night! I had only put 1/3 cup...totally missing the part about adding the remaining sugar 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Hello.

As it baked this morning, I did a little internet sleuthing.  Some sources said to leave the oven door fully closed after the meringue is browned, not leaving it ajar as my recipe had said. So this time, I kept the oven door closed, and left the meringue in all day. 

Take 2 was a success!  

That is, it tasted good. Delicious, even. 

The presentation, however, could stand some improvement.

The meringue did have several cracks. And my internet sleuthing showed me that pavlova is taller (looks more like a layer cake in shape), not as low and wide as mine. Look at the lovely shape of this one...


Oh, but it was good!  So good, in fact, that I am willing to make a third attempt should the occasion arise.

(Serves 8)

4 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup heavy cream 
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
  1. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until dissolved and mixture is thick.
  3. Add remaining sugar a tablespoon or two at a time.
  4. When mixture is very stiff, add vanilla and vinegar. Beat to combine. (Should be thick and glossy.)
  5. Spoon mixture onto parchment paper on baking pan; build up sides.
  6. Bake at 250° F (very low oven!) for 1 1/2 hours. (Meringue should be light brown and dry to the touch.)
  7. Turn off oven and allow pavlova to cool in oven.  Allow to cool thoroughly (several hours, or even overnight). 
  8. Whip heavy cream and confectioner's sugar together until stiff peaks form.  Spread on pavlova and top with blackberries.

Note: For individual pavlovas, make 8 mounds of egg mixture on parchment paper and decrease baking time to approximately 1 hour. 

Have you ever had a dessert flop?  Did you try again? 


  1. Everything I've ever made flops at least once so I guess that I could be called tenacious.

    Oh my, Cheryl, this looks amazing! I've never heard of it and must give it a try when I want to impress someone...oops...bless someone.

  2. I've never tried a pavlova but yours looks amazing! What's not to love about it? Fresh whipped cream, fresh berries!

    The girls and I will have to give this a try!


  3. Oh yes, I have had a dessert or three flop! This is so beautiful and elegant. I will give it a try. I guess when it is not so humid here. xo

  4. So, just don't show us the other one! Yours is one of the most beautiful desserts I've seen. Definitely I would be proud to serve it. :)

    I won't tell you how many times I've made the 'hello' mistakes in cooking. Recently it involves morning coffee and I make the same mistake repeatedly... "HELLO!"

    Blessings, Debbie

  5. Oh, I love Pavlova. When I lived in Ecuador, my midwife was from Australia. She gave me a pavlova recipe that is wonderful. Hers were never high like the second picture, but more like yours - to me, yours looks perfect! I think it might be time to make one again.

    Mistakes in cooking happen all the time around here.

  6. I like yours better:-) its truly lovely! Good photography by bekah too:-)

  7. Oh, that looks so good and especially with a cuppa coffee. Yum!

  8. I have had more failures in baking than i like to remember, Cheryl! This desert looks absolutely incredibly delicious! I think you did a fine job, thanks for sharing.

  9. I've never been too successful at meringue. But see if you hadn't looked at the internet you would not have known that yours didn't measure up visually! :-)

  10. I have never made pavlova but have it on my list of things to try. And yes there have been MANY cooking flops around here. Once I made Irish soda bread that was so heavy I could barely lift the plate it was on -- a potential deadly weapon for sure! Also, once I made a two-layer carrot cake that was less than an inch tall...I usually don't let flops deter me unless they actually taste bad. If that's true I write a note by the recipe: DO NOT MAKE AGAIN.


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