Make a classic passionfruit pavlova with this excellent, almost fool-proof recipe.
With a crisp outer shell and marshmallowy centre this pavlova is exactly how it should be. Topped with billowy whipped cream, smooth tangy passionfruit curd and fresh fruit, it is the perfect summer dessert!
Why you’ll love this recipe
I have been making Pavlova for many years and it is standard dessert fare at many Australian gatherings. The classic Pavlova is a dessert consisting of a crisp, light meringue base topped with fruit and cream.
While there are many possible variations, this recipe for passionfruit pavlova is the perfect combination of tang and sweet.
You’ll love the textures of this dessert. In every mouthful there is crisp meringue shell, soft melt-in-the-mouth centre, smooth and creamy topping and fresh firm fruit.
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
While pavlova is not completely crunchy like a meringue, the ingredients needed are the same.
- egg whites
- cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites
- sugar – use superfine (castor)
- cornstarch (cornflour)
- vanilla for flavor
- vinegar to ensure the marshmallowy centre
So simple and easy – keep a jar in the refrigerator to dollop on cake or ice cream.
- lemon juice
Most often the centre of the meringue is a marshmallowy consistency. However Pavlova can be stacked layers, mini Pavlovas, or lightly baked and rolled with a filling.
The meringue can be flavoured with nuts, spices, chocolate, cocoa or coffee powder and filled with custards, mousses, bavarians, mascarpone, fruit curds or yoghurt.
- Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy
- Gradually add sugar
- Beat until thick, shiny and sugar is dissolved
- Mix in cornstarch, vanilla and vinegar
- Pile onto prepared baking tray and bake
- Heat together passionfruit juice, butter and sugar
- Whisk eggs and egg yolks
- Whisk heated passionfruit mixture into beaten eggs
- Return mixture to the heat and cook gently until thickened
- Cool quickly
Complete the passionfruit pavlova by topping the base with whipped cream, cooled passionfruit curd and fresh fruit.
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Passionfruit Pavlova recipe
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 tsp cornstarch or cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ⅔ cup strained passionfruit juice
- 2 tbsp of passionfruit seeds
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks/170 grams) unsalted butter chopped
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1¼ cups whipping cream approx 35% fat
- 1½ tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven 275°F/135ºC and prepare a large flat tray by lining with nonstick baking paper.
- Beat egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Continue beating while gradually adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still "gritty" with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the sifted cornstarch, followed by the vanilla and the vinegar.
- Pile the mixture onto the baking paper lined flat tray. It should be about a 8 -10 inch/20-25cm circle. Hollow out the centre a little.
- Bake for 1 ¼ hours. If your oven runs hot and the pavlova is colouring simply lower the temperature by 5 or 10 degrees.
- Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
- Once cool store in an airtight container unless using straight away.
- In a medium saucepan place passionfruit juice, lemon juice, butter and sugar. Cook over a medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- In a bowl place eggs and additional egg yolks and whisk eggs until combined.
- Whisk the eggs and slowly pour in the passionfruit mixture. It is important to keep whisking while you do this. Strain the passionfruit curd mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan to remove any “eggy bits”.
- Add the passionfruit seeds and continue to cook over a low/medium heat until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. At low heat this can take as long as 10 minutes. At medium heat it can take as little as 5 minutes.
- Be careful not to overheat and overcook the mixture – you will then have passionfruit flavoured scrambled eggs. I like to not risk further cooking of the curd by pouring the cooked mixture into a glass jug until cooled.
- Once mixture has cooled place in a sterilised jar and store in the fridge. Passionfruit curd will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
- Using a hand whisk or electric whisk, beat the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a stainless steel or glass or china bowl (not plastic doesn't seem to whip as well).
- It is whipped properly when it is still soft and billowy but holds its shape when the whisk is withdrawn.
- Once the cream is whipped, cover and store in the fridge.
- Remove the baking paper from the pavlova and place on a serving tray. (I recently saw Nigella Lawson prepare a pavlova and she simply turned it upside down on a serving tray, removed the baking paper and decorated the pavlova. Once decorated no one could tell it was upside down.)
- Spread the Chantilly cream over the pavlova, drizzle with as much of the curd as you like, decorate with slice kiwi fruit and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Make sure your whisking bowl is clean and greasefree. If in doubt rub with paper towel dipped in white vinegar or lemon juice before use.
Have everything ready on the bench because once you start mixing, your pavlova you can’t be interrupted.
Use eggs at room temperature to ensure the best whip. The egg whites must not contain even a trace of yolk. To be sure separate each egg individually.
I like to use cream of tartar to stablise the whites. I have read that a ½ teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice or even a pinch of salt can be substituted but I
can’t verify this.
If you can’t get superfine sugar, whiz regular sugar in the food processor.
Do not open the door during the cooking then when baled. allow to cool slowly in the oven with the door ajar.