Holiday Pavlova Wreath Recipe

This festive holiday Pavlova Wreath is such a lovely dessert and makes the perfect addition to any special occasion. Pavlova is a meringue dessert with a delicate, crispy crunchy shell that hides a soft light, marshmallowy, almost custard-like inside and is traditionally served topped with whipped cream and fruit.

This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.

In the culinary world, there are those dishes that just beg for a little more looking into, or research, as it were. Sometimes it’s nice to have a little background on where a dish originated or where did the funny sounding name come from, like Turkey Tetrazinni, Bubble and Squeak, or Pavlova. The majority of recipes I share here are ones I’ve made multiple times. Every once in a while I share something that is brand new to me, but I make sure to do a good bit of reading and research first, because I’m curious. And, of course, I don’t want to pass along bad information. But mainly, it’s because I’m curious. So when I began planning on my first endeavor with a Pavlova, I did some digging around before whipping up this delicious and gorgeous dessert.

This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.

Did you know that the Pavlova is believed to be created for the Russian dancer, Anna Pavlova, in the late 1920s as she toured Australia and New Zealand? I wonder if she was crispy and delicate too? And even though there has been debate over the years as to whether the Pavlova originated in Australia or New Zealand, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, via BBC News, and cited again via Wikipedia, New Zealand is where the Pavlova was first created. Wherever it was invented, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m just thankful for whoever created it. I’m a big fan. 

This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.

A scrumptious and beautiful Pavlova Wreath is so perfect for any holiday occasion. I decorated this one with sugared cranberries and fresh mint leaves for a festive addition to a holiday table. Other berries can be substituted to make it a seasonally appropriate wreath for any time of the year.

A few Pavlova recipe tips and tricks:

  • While pavlova can be made ahead by a few days, humidity is not a friend of meringue, so if making ahead it’s best to be prepared with an airtight container large enough to store the Pavlova.
  • Add the whipped cream and fruit right before serving as the moisture from both as well as weight will begin to break down the Pavlova.
  • Don’t be in a hurry. This recipe is really not difficult. As with most things in life, take your time at each step. Once the meringue has finished cooking, follow the instructions and leave it in the oven (that has been turned off) to completely cool. Completely. Cool. This means planning ahead. Reserve that oven space! As I mentioned above, this can be made ahead by a day or so and kept stored in airtight container.
  • The wreath I made barely fit on a 13×18-inch baking sheet. If you don’t have a baking sheet that large, make an oval wreath OR make two smaller wreaths.
  • Egg whites are easier to separate from the yolk when cold.
  • As far as the granulated sugar goes, I have found that certain brands are finer than others. The finer the sugar grain the quicker it will dissolve into the egg whites. If you own a food processor you can quickly pulse granulated sugar to a finer texture if you’d like.

This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.

Holiday Pavlova Wreath Recipe

Holiday Pavlova Wreath Recipe

Holiday Pavlova Wreath Recipe

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Pavlova is a meringue dessert with a delicate, crispy crunchy shell that hides a soft light, marshmallowy, almost custard-like inside and is traditionally served topped with whipped cream and fruit.

Ingredients

  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar* (the finer the texture the better)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or better yet, vanilla bean paste)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • optional garnish: sugared cranberries and fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Line a large baking sheet (at least 13x18-inches) with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer whisk egg whites on high until stiff. Continuing to beat, gradually add sugar and beat until dissolved. Add lemon juice and extract, then sprinkle/sift in cornstarch; beat on high until very stiff and glossy peaks form, about 3-5 more minutes.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, gently shape meringue into a ring. Reduce oven temperature to 200-degrees F. Bake meringue for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven until completely cooled (about 4 hours or overnight).**Store in airtight container until ready to serve. Before decorating, gently transfer the meringue to a cake plate.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  5. ***When ready to serve, gently spread whipped cream evenly over top of meringue wreath, or using a frosting bag with wide tip, pipe whipped cream as desired on top of meringue.
  6. Optional: Decorate the top with sugared cranberries and fresh mint leaves.

Notes

*As far as the granulated sugar goes, I have found that certain brands are finer than others. The finer the sugar grain the quicker it will dissolve into the egg whites. If you own a food processor you can quickly pulse granulated sugar to a finer texture if you’d like.

**While I wouldn't recommend it, Pavlova can be made ahead a few days, BUT humidity is not a friend of meringue. So if making ahead, it’s best to be prepared with an airtight container large enough to store the Pavlova or wrap gently (but completely) with plastic wrap. Add the whipped cream and fruit right before serving as the moisture from both (as well as weight) will begin to break down the Pavlova.

***Add the whipped cream and fruit right before serving as the moisture from both as well as weight will begin to break down the Pavlova.

Don’t be in a hurry. This recipe is really not difficult. As with most things in life, take your time at each step. Once the meringue has finished cooking, follow the instructions and leave it in the oven (that has been turned off) to completely cool. Completely. Cool. This means planning ahead. Reserve that oven space! As I mentioned above, this can be made ahead by a day or so and kept stored in airtight container. The wreath I made barely fit on a 13x18-inch baking sheet. If you don’t have a baking sheet that large, make an oval wreath OR make two smaller wreaths.

Egg whites are easier to separate from the yolk when cold.

Recipe adapted from Saveur.

Originally published December 22, 2014. This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.

 This festive Pavlova Wreath has a crispy crunchy shell and a marshmallowy interior topped with whipped cream, sugared cranberries and fresh mint.Holiday Pavlova Wreath Recipe | shewearsmanyhats.com