Delia Smith Pavlova Recipe

Delia Smith Pavlova Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Mins

Pavlova is a delicious dessert that consists of a crisp meringue base topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits. It’s named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. There is some debate over which country invented this dessert, but both claim it as their national dish.

Delia Smith is a famous British cook and author, who has published many books and TV shows on cooking. She is known for her simple and reliable recipes that anyone can follow. Her pavlova recipe is one of her classics, and it’s perfect for any occasion.

This recipe serves 8-10 people and can be prepared in approximately 2 hours.

In this article, I will show you how to make Delia Smith’s pavlova step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.

What is Delia Smith Pavlova?

Delia Smith pavlova is a variation of the traditional pavlova, with some differences in the ingredients and the method. Delia Smith uses caster sugar instead of granulated sugar, which dissolves faster and creates a finer texture. She also adds cornflour and vinegar to the meringue mixture, which helps to stabilize it and prevent it from cracking. She bakes the pavlova in a low oven for a long time, until it is crisp on the outside and marshmallow-like on the inside. She then cools it in the oven with the door slightly ajar, which prevents it from collapsing. She finishes the pavlova with whipped cream and seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwis, and passion fruit.

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Reasons to Adore This Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:

  • Simplicity: Straightforward steps and minimal ingredients make this recipe accessible to bakers of all levels.
  • Versatility: The choice of fruits can be tailored to personal preference or seasonal availability.
  • Gluten-Free: Free from flour, this dessert suits a wide range of dietary needs.
  • Light and Delightful: The combination of airy meringue, creamy topping, and fresh fruits offers a balanced and refreshing taste.
  • Visually Impressive: With its elegant presentation, this Pavlova is sure to be a centerpiece at any gathering.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Pavlova

To make Delia Smith pavlova, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 level teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream
  • 450 g (1 lb) mixed fresh fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwis, and passion fruit

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Pavlova Recipe

To make Delia Smith pavlova, follow these instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and line a baking tray

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2).
  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and draw a 20 cm (8 inch) circle on it. You can use a plate or a cake tin as a guide.

Step 2: Whisk the egg whites and sugar

  • In a large, clean, and grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. You can test this by lifting the whisk and seeing if the peaks hold their shape.
  • Gradually add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. The mixture should be thick and glossy, and all the sugar should be dissolved. You can test this by rubbing a little bit of the mixture between your fingers and feeling if it is smooth or grainy.
  • Whisk in the cornflour, vinegar, and vanilla extract until well combined.

Step 3: Shape and bake the pavlova

  • Spoon the meringue mixture onto the prepared baking tray, within the circle you drew. Use a spatula or a palette knife to spread it evenly and create a slight dip in the center. This will hold the cream and fruits later.
  • Bake the pavlova in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until it is crisp and dry on the surface. It should be pale and not browned.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova inside with the door slightly ajar, until it is completely cool. This will take about 2 hours, or you can leave it overnight.

Step 4: Whip the cream and prepare the fruits

  • When you are ready to serve the pavlova, whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. Be careful not to overwhip it, as it will become grainy and lose its volume.
  • Wash and dry the fruits, and cut them into bite-sized pieces if needed. You can also scoop out the pulp and seeds of the passion fruit if using.

Step 5: Assemble and serve the pavlova

  • Carefully peel off the baking parchment from the pavlova and transfer it to a large serving plate or cake stand. You can use a large spatula or two fish slices to help you lift it.
  • Spoon the whipped cream over the pavlova, spreading it gently to cover the top, and fill the dip in the center.
  • Arrange the fruits over the cream, creating a colorful and attractive pattern. You can also drizzle some passion fruit pulp over the top if using.
  • Cut into slices and serve, or refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!

Delia Smith Pavlova

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Pavlova?

Delia Smith’s Pavlova is a spectacular dessert that shines on its own, yet pairing it with complementary flavors can elevate the experience.

Consider these delightful accompaniments:

  • Ice Cream: Enhance the Pavlova with a scoop of vanilla, strawberry, or mango ice cream for added creaminess and a sweet contrast.
  • Custard: A gentle drizzle of either warm or chilled custard can make each bite more luxurious, perfectly complementing the airy texture.
  • Sauce: Introduce a burst of flavor with a sauce—berry puree, tangy lemon curd, or rich chocolate—offering a lovely contrast and depth.
  • Mint: Garnish with fresh mint sprigs to inject a pop of color and a refreshing note, balancing the dessert’s sweetness.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Pavlova

Achieving the perfect Delia Smith Pavlova is within reach with these professional tips:

  • Eggs: Use room-temperature, fresh eggs for a more voluminous meringue.
  • Utensils: Ensure your mixing bowl and whisk are impeccably clean and free from any grease, as fat residues can hinder the egg whites from achieving their full volume.
  • Mixing: Whisk the meringue to the right consistency without overdoing it; overmixing can deflate the mixture.
  • Oven Discipline: Keep the oven door closed during baking to prevent temperature fluctuations that could cause cracking.
  • Cooling: Allow the Pavlova to cool down completely in the oven with the door slightly open to avoid sudden temperature changes that might lead to sinking or cracking.
  • Assembly: Assemble the Pavlova with cream and fruits just before serving to maintain its crisp texture.

Variations of Delia Smith Pavlova

Customizing your Pavlova can introduce new textures and flavors.

Here are some suggestions to inspire your creativity:

  • Chocolate: Incorporate cocoa powder into the meringue or garnish with chocolate shavings for a decadent twist.
  • Nuts: Mix in chopped almonds, pistachios, or pecans for added crunch, either within the meringue or sprinkled on top.
  • Coconut: Blend desiccated coconut into the meringue for a tropical flair or use it as a topping for added texture.
  • Lemon: Infuse the cream with lemon zest and juice for a citrusy contrast, or layer lemon curd beneath the fruit for a zesty surprise.
  • Caramel: A drizzle of caramel sauce or a dollop of dulce de leche brings a smooth, sweet finish that pairs wonderfully with the fruit.

How do I Store Delia Smith Pavlova Leftovers?

Storing Pavlova correctly is key to maintaining its texture and flavor.

Follow these steps:

  • Cool Completely: Ensure the Pavlova is completely cooled to room temperature before storing to prevent condensation that could make it soggy.
  • Wrap Carefully: Wrap the Pavlova loosely with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This helps to keep it dry and protects it from absorbing odors from the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate: Store the wrapped Pavlova in the refrigerator. It’s best enjoyed within 2 days to maintain its crispness and freshness.
  • Freezing Option: If you need to store the Pavlova for longer, it can be frozen. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Note that freezing may slightly alter the texture of the meringue.

How do I Reheat Delia Smith Pavlova Leftovers?

Reheating Pavlova is generally not recommended as it’s best enjoyed cold to preserve its texture. However, if you need to refresh the Pavlova or prefer it slightly warm:

  • Thawing: If the Pavlova has been frozen, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 100°C (212°F). Place the Pavlova on a baking sheet and warm it for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye to prevent it from drying out or browning.

Nutrition value (per serving, based on 8 servings):

  • Calories: 358 kcal
  • Fat: 19.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41.5 g
  • Protein: 5.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Sugar: 40.4 g
  • Sodium: 57 mg
  • Calcium: 71 mg
  • Iron: 0.6 mg


Can I Make Pavlova the Day Before Serving?

Yes, you can prepare Pavlova a day before serving. Bake the meringue base and let it cool in the oven overnight. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature once cooled. Add the whipped cream and fresh fruits just before serving to maintain the crisp texture of the meringue.

How Do I Prevent My Pavlova from Cracking?

To minimize cracking, ensure your egg whites are at room temperature before whisking. Bake the Pavlova in a preheated oven at the correct temperature, and avoid opening the oven door during baking. Allow the Pavlova to cool slowly in the oven with the door slightly ajar. These steps help prevent sudden temperature changes that can cause cracking.

What Fruits Work Best for Topping a Pavlova?

Choose a mix of colorful, seasonal fruits for Pavlova topping. Popular choices include strawberries, kiwis, raspberries, and passion fruit for their vibrant colors and complementary flavors. Mango, peach slices, and blueberries also work well. Aim for a balance of sweet and tart flavors to complement the sweetness of the meringue and cream.

Can Pavlova Be Made Without Vinegar?

While vinegar helps stabilize the egg whites and gives Pavlova its marshmallow-like center, you can substitute it with lemon juice or cream of tartar if needed. These alternatives also act as stabilizers and can produce a similar texture in the Pavlova meringue.

Final Words

Delia Smith pavlova is a scrumptious dessert that will impress your guests and satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s easy to make, with only a few ingredients and simple steps. It’s also versatile, as you can use any fruits you like or have on hand.

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