Mama’s Pavlova. The Secrets.

Good morning from California!

It is warm here.  Wonderful.  And time to make our celebratory Pavlova. This is the quintessential down-under dessert. As you know I am from New Zealand and I am more than happy to claim Pavlova as a New Zealand ballerina dessert.

Pavlova is easy to make. However there are four things to remember when making your Pav.

1. Use room temperature eggs.

2. GO SLOW at every stage.  Work easily and gently. You cannot hurry a Pav.

3. Heat your oven to 330(190C) then turn down to 300 (180C) when you place the pav in the oven.

4. The  meringue rule: Turn the oven off after 45 minutes and allow The Pav  to cool IN the oven. Do Not open the door, just walk away and let it finish cooking in the cooling oven.

Mama’s Pavlova.

  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 cups ordinary sugar
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chilled water

Remember.. take your time. Begin to beat the eggwhites on low then slowly increase the speed every minute or so until you are beating on high and  they become light, fluffy and peaky.

Add the cornflour slowly as it is still beating on medium.  Then the vanilla,  and vinegar.

Turn to high again and slowly, a tiny bit at a time, add the sugar. Your mixture will become white with glorious meringue peaks. Then right at the end, add the cold, cold water. I don’t know why Mum added water but there you are, this is how she made it.

I cooked the pavlova in a paper lined spring form cake tin. So gently transfer your mixture to the tin and carefully place in the lower half of an oven set to 320, drop it to 300. Cook for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven.

It was served with fresh California strawberries  and unsweetened cream.

Though the newest member of our family had way better things to do than scoff  pavlova with its marvellous mix of marshmallow and crunch.

Good morning. I hope you are all well in all your corners of the world.  Things are good at the farmy. Though when I spoke to Our John yesterday he said he was lighting the fire as it was freezing cold and windy.  But we did get 3/4 an inch of rain.  And on top of all his work, he had the shearer man turn up quite out of the blue to give the sheep a haircut.  Good for the sheep. But annoying for us as I was going to photograph that process for you.  It is amazing to see a sheep emerge from all that wool. So now the weather can warm up over there thank you very much!

I am off  again into the treadmill of plane travel early tomorrow morning. Then on Tuesday you and I will fall back with relief into our usual routine of daily chores and early morning posts. Until then. Good morning and  enjoy your pavlova!

Oh and by the way, it is calm here in Cali. No wind, and forecast to be 90 degrees! Lovely.


75 Comments on “Mama’s Pavlova. The Secrets.

  1. Morning Celi. Arrrrrrr! Those tiny little hands! 🙂 The Pavlova looks delicious. One of my favourites tfs.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Regards Florence x

    • I am fascinated by babies wee hands, all that work ahead.. your blog page looks lovely today florence.. c

  2. Congratulations Granny. Pav looks delicious but they somehow never taste the same as down under …. wonder why? Laura

    • Who said the G word. C is just fine with me! (laughter) I think the difference is the lack of passionfruit and that heavy NZ cream!! c

  3. G’morning, Celi! That photo of your newest is easily one of your best. I thought about Your John yesterday morning. It had been a nasty night and I bet the wind really howled on the farmy. I’m not at all familiar with a pavlova but it is one impressive looking dessert, to be sure. Enjoy the rest of your visit and have a safe trip home.

    • Hmm, it sounds like you all had a rough night, thank goodness we have a nice big barn! I am so looking froward to being back. I am not very good at passing on the reins. c

  4. That is a gorgeous photo of the baby, Celi, one that people will treasure forever. It sounds like you are enjoyed yourself while the sheep are frolicking around in their new light state.

    • Firstly what an awesome link, I have a set of measuring cups exactly like the ones at the top of the link you sent me, I just use the cup, when we were kids working with mum we used a tea cup. Looking at the chart it seems the sugar will come to 220 grams. When the mixture is really holding its peaks you will have it about right. c

  5. See? That’s what I call a prefect Pavlova! Thanks C; I will follow your tips next time I make a new one. Enjoy that beautiful baby… He’s adorable!!

  6. That’s a beautiful Pavlova, Celi, but not to overshadow the beauty of that tiny new life! How lovely that you have the time with your California family. And I’m smiling that for at least a bit longer you and I are neighbors…you gave away your California location by mentioning the temps! Ha! Now you know what I work with in my garden…it rained last week, and now high heat. Deserts have their particular challenges…enjoy your time, and I’m sure your John and those wonderful animals are going to be glad to have your touch back on the farmy! Debra

  7. Yummmmm! I love Pavlova.That baby looks very special, too. It will be good to have you back in routine, so have a safe journey. 😀

    • It took me about 24 hours to relax properly, I kept scanning the horizon for trouble!! Morning roger..c

  8. i have never made a pavlova but it is now on my summer baking list! have a safe trip!

  9. Celi, the pavlova looks amazing I just want to dive in. I cannot wait to put the recipe to the test, but it needs patience so I suppose I shall try this next Sunday. Thanks for sharing “Mamas recipe”.

  10. I think I have had that before and didn’t know what it was. Interesting and now I have to remember where, when, who…

    Do you do anything with your wool? If not, would you like a little spun up? I’d be happy to, especially from a good sheep like Mama :-).

    • What a wonderful idea, in fact I now have two Dorset fleeces from a very well fed Hairy MacLairy. The Somerset (Mama) is a bit coarse. I would give you a fleece or pay you, if you could spin a little for me to make a few hatties for the family esp our new baby! (I have two full long Dorset fleeces now but I need to pick them over). This is a tremendous offer. I am still waiting to pick up a spinning wheel from NZ in Nov. My email is . Maybe we should get in touch! Thank you.. c

  11. Oh, SQUEE! BABY!!!
    Even with all the chaos, I can’t help but adore them…Marvelous photo.
    Oh, and DO send Sarah (The Crazy Sheep Lady) your fleece. Don’t know if you read her blog or not, but you’d love it. I read, but seldom comment over there. (there seems to be a compatability issue with her format and my computer) Do check her out, and all the fine things she does with her sheep.
    After you tear yourself away from that sweet little dumpling, naturally… 😉

  12. Sweet soft baby love! Oh g! I mean c… You lucky, lucky gal! Give a hug for me, please:) pavlova is one of my fav desserts.. It’s that glossy whipping I adore! Thanks for your tips… I did t know about those ones! Xo Smidge (not a G Smidge)

  13. Good morning C 🙂
    Im very happy you are enjoying California – your newest addition is just beautiful – he has such a button nose 😀 – *squeals*
    And your pavlova is stunning – may I say your mother is a genius? I adore pavlova 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  14. Aaahh a cutie. And yes I am talking about the newest member! But now my mind is back focusing on the really important – THE pavlova, aaaahhhhhhhhh and your recipe is fabytastic, I’d forgotten about adding a touch of vinegar. Right I’m off for an early night, a long day on the allotment awaits,wishing you safe and uneventful travels

  15. [groan] I do not need to be told that a) you’re in California and b) that it’s warm and c) that it’s dry, I am absolutely sick with envy! 😉 Your meringue (pronounced in this house as a mer-in-goo) is an absolute cathedral of a pavlova, stunning. Welcome to your newest addition! 🙂

  16. The weather sounds perfect! And what a beautiful new addition to your family. Oh I miss babies! I’ve never heard of Pavlova, so this was fun to read about. Have a safe trip back and try and bring some of that warmth with you. 🙂

  17. Your pavlova brings back such memories. My mother made magnificent pavs, and would decorate them with little wheels of kiwifruit or else strawberries, depending on the season. Yours looks a great success.

  18. So beautiful, c! I’m sure the Pavlova is lovely, too, but there is nothing more perfect, more warm and precious and that so perfectly embodies love than a sleeping baby. Beautiful photo. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, and congratulations to your family!

  19. What a lovely shot of the newest love of your life!! Safe travels home – will you even recognize those wool-less wooly ones?
    Thanks too for some tips on the perfect pav! I’ll be putting what I just learned into practice, soon!

  20. Ooooooo! I’ve been working on Pav for the imminent fruit season. I’m no good at it, but with each batch of ice cream, I practice my meringue. The technique of starting out with the high temperature then lowering then cooling in the oven is uniquely southern hemisphere. The French keep a low oven temp and cook for hours. The Brits do something very similar. The Americans still think the meringue is a hip new move they saw on Dancing with the Stars. I’ve tried a version of your mama’s technique once and it worked like a charm. I can’t wait to try again today! Though room temperature eggs will be tough as it’s a cold day today. Maybe I can pop a few under my broody hen for some warmth. I go as slow as I can, but no you’re right, Celi, I need to go slower … no, I get it, I’ll go slower. ☺

  21. Oh, I’m so glad that you have a new addition to your family too! I thought that We had a long way to travel to see our new additions but it’s a mere hop, skip and a jump compared to yours!

  22. Beaut pic of the new baby Celi!
    Make the most of the warm sunshine, and thanks for the pav recipe – going to try it out this weekend!

  23. It’s hard to say who looks sweeter- the baby or the pav. Lovely photos and such a lot of meringue wisdom. Enjoy your homecoming- it is such bliss to get back down to work after being away, isn’t it?

  24. Congratulations to you!! What a beautiful baby. How fun that you got to go visit. My scottish grandmother couldn’t eat wheat so Pavlova was a favorite with her – great reminder!

  25. What a wonderful addition to the family…absolutely adorable. 🙂 Where in CA did you visit??

  26. Good lord, how do you do it – day in and day out – contributing joy in all its physical manifestations to all you encounter? The first photo is stunning – I make a fair meringue (out of maple syrup instead of sugar, mind you), but yours looks otherworldly. Hoo-ha!

  27. Congratulations for all your family… Lovely photograph… Blessing and Happiness, Thank you, with my love, nia

  28. If the sheep have been sheared, they may need some of that warm weather for awhile. Hope you take some back home with you. 🙂 Beautiful baby!

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  30. Thats what I do with my meringues too, leave it to cool in the oven after baking. It gives it a crisp finish

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