Christmas pavlova is a great show-stopping dessert, yet is surprisingly simple to make. Flavoured with orange & figs this makes a great table centrepiece.
Our Christmas pavlova is so pretty and tastes amazing. This double layered pavlova, flavoured with orange and fig makes a perfect centrepiece on any Christmas table. However, despite appearances it is deceptively easy to make! The trick is to use the freshest of eggs, that way the meringue holds it’s shape better. Then it’s simply a case of deciding what to fill it with, some sweetened cream, fresh fruit, dried fruits or candied nuts? The list is endless, however you decide to make it, it’s a dessert that delights most diners. Doubled up as we have done makes it ideal for a showstopping Christmas dessert, with plenty to feed a crowd and leave leftovers for Boxing day!
Can you make this Christmas pavlova ahead of time?
The meringue case for the pavlova can be made up to a week ahead of time. Once cool place the meringue into an air-tight container and set aside on the kitchen counter (do not place the meringue case in the fridge or it will take on moisture and flatten). Then simply assemble the pavlova just before you are ready to serve. However, please note that once filled with fresh cream, if you have leftovers the pavlova must be stored in the fridge to stop the cream going off.
How do you stop meringue from flattening?
Cracks appear very easily in meringues when they are allowed to cool too quickly. To try and avoid this, once the pavlova has finished baking, turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool in the oven. Don’t remove from the oven until completely cold. Another great tip is to always use fresh eggs. The egg white from older eggs doesn’t hold the air bubbles in quite the same way as fresh eggs, resulting in the meringue collapsing.
Why do you add vinegar to a pavlova?
Vinegar, lemon juice or cream of tartar is used in a meringue to stabilise the mixture. The vinegar helps the egg whites to maintain the air, thus stops the meringue from deflating. Rest assured you will not taste the vinegar in the finished meringue case!
Is Pavlova suitable for a Gluten-free diet?
This Christmas pavlova is gluten free, in fact meringue makes a great dessert for coeliacs. Just ensure that when filling the meringue case that you check the ingredients you are adding are gluten free. We have used fresh fruit and sugar syrups, which are fine. However, if you decided to drizzle over some chocolate, check first that it is suitable for a gluten free diet.
What other flavour combinations would work for a Christmas Pavlova?
We have used seasonal fruit in this Christmas Pavlova, oranges and figs are beautiful at this time of year. However, use the fruit you and your family enjoy eating.
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Alternative recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then try our Profiteroles with Chestnut Cream, our Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with Mulled Plums, our No-bake Lime Cheesecake, our Vanilla Panna Cotta & Orange Jelly, our Lemon Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly, our Blackberry Parfait or our Lemon Tart with Limoncello Icecream.
- 325 g egg whites - approx 6-7 large eggs
- 650 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
Sweetened Ginger Cream
- 900 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 6 stem ginger pieces - chopped finely
- 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 3 large oranges - peeled & segmented
- 6 figs - cut in half or quartered
- 20 g butter
- 1 tbsp muscavado sugar
- 1 tbsp cointreau
- Prepare 2 large baking trays by lining with either baking parchment or a silicone baking mat and preheat the oven to 120F.
- If you are using whole eggs then separate the eggs whites and yolks, set aside the yolks for another use (mayonnaise, custard, etc) and place the eggs whites in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg whites until they start to become frothy. Gradually add the sugar spoon by spoon and allow time in between for the sugar to be thoroughly whisked in.
- Continue to incorporate all the sugar then add the cornflour & white wine vinegar and whisk until you have stiff peaks and the mixture is shiny.
- Spoon the mixture onto the two lined baking trays and spread out into circles, making one slightly smaller than the other for the top of the pavlova. Using a spoon make sure the edges are slightly higher than the middle as this will allow for the cream to be filled in.
- Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour, without opening the door. After the hour, check the meringues. You will want them to be completely set and feel like they are starting to pull away from the bade if lifted slightly. You may need to switch the trays from top to bottom and vice versa at this time if you are baking them in one oven. Alternatively if you have 2 ovens then we suggest you bake them separately. If they are not fully baked then continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes. After that time, turn off the oven but allow them to cool completely in the oven. Open the door now and again to let any steam or moisture out. Do not remove until fully cooled or the meringue will split if cooled too fast.
Sweetened Ginger Cream
- Start by finely chopping the stem ginger and setting aside.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the double cream until stiff then add the sugar, syrup and stem ginger pieces. Completely mix together.
- Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the pavlova.
Topping & Assembly
- Once the meringues are fully cooled you can start to assemble. On a large plate or cake stand, place the larger of the 2 meringues. Top with half of the whipped ginger cream. Next add the smaller meringue and and top with the remaining whipped ginger cream.
- Prepare the orange segments by peeling the oranges and then cutting in segments between the white pith to form wedges. Set aside until the figs are prepared.
- In a small pan, melt the butter gently, add the sugar and allow to melt into the butter. Place the halved figs into the pan skin side up and allow to gently cook until just turning soft and sticky. Finish the figs with a splash of cointreau and remove from the heat.
- To finish assembling the pavlova, top the ginger cream with the orange segments then the warmed figs. Drizzle the sauce from the figs all over the top and down the sides. Serve immediately.
- The meringues in this recipe can be made up to 1 week ahead of time and kept in a cool place in an airtight container until ready to assemble.
- If you prefer other fruits, then feel free to substitute or add any others of your choice.
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