Christmas Pavlova Wreath is a knockout dessert finale for your Christmas feast. It has a crispy outer shell, and a soft marshmallow centre that is so light you’d think you were eating clouds all topped off with freshly whipped cream and summers bounty of fresh berries.
The trick to achieving a sensationally crisp outer layer, and a soft marshmallow centre on this Christmas Pavlova Wreath is using cornflour.
The cornflour helps the meringue to stay soft in the centre and gives a contrast to the crisp outer layer. None of those hard, crunchy meringues that would shatter if you dropped it. Too easy!.
This pavlova recipe delivers a pavlova that’s easy to make providing you follow a few rules.
At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Christmas Pavlova Wreath
Hot Tips Summary For A Perfect Pavlova
- Separate your egg whites while the eggs are cold
- Whisk egg whites that are at room temperature
- Make sure there’s not the slightest bit of yolk in the whites
- Ensure your whisking bowl is scrupulously clean
- Add sugar gradually once you have the soft peak stage
- Make sure the sugar has completely dissolved
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 130c (265f), then turn the oven down to 100c (210f)
- Don’t even think about opening the door, not even for a second!
- Allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least 6 hours, or overnight – again dont even think about opening the door
- Dont worry if you get a few cracks as the cream and fruit will cover up any cracks
We’ve filled our Christmas pavlova wreath with strawberries, raspberries and fresh blackberries which makes for a delicious combination.
We grew up on a farm where eggs were plentiful and pavlova was a regular dessert in our family home. We’d pick strawberries from our neighbours on our left and get fresh cream from the opposite farm straight from the cow, and separated by our neighbour, Dottie Nash.
Let’s Talk About Eggs
If you’ve made it this far into a pavlova recipe, you probably know that a key part to making meringue is to separate ALL of the yolk from the white. Even a tiny bit of yolk will cause your meringue to fail.
What you might not know is that cold eggs are easier to separate than room temperature eggs. Cold egg whites are thick and gelatinous which helps them to stay together and the yolk has a thin elastic membrane that surrounds it.
As the egg warms up the thick white becomes runny and the membrane surrounding the yolk becomes thinner resulting in a yolk that is fragile and highly likely to break while being separated. The moral of this story is to separate your eggs while they are cold and allow to come to room temperature before beating.
If you need to use them in a hurry, just pop the bowl that the whites are in into a larger bowl with several inches of warm (not hot) water in it and swirl the whites around occasionally – this should take 5 minutes max.
Hot Tip – For A Scrupulously Clean Bowl
It pays to make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean of any oils, or grease. You can ensure this by wiping over your bowl and beaters with some hand towel dipped in a little white vinegar or lemon juice.
No one is casting aspersions on your dishwashing skills, but the slightest residue of oil or grease will prevent your whites from whipping properly.
Use either a glass, or metal bowl, and not a plastic bowl as plastic can harbour traces of grease, or fat which prevents the whites from getting stiff.
Grease and oil are the arch enemy of making a stiff egg white mixture, which is why you must avoid getting any yolk in with your whites. Attempting to scoop out a stray yolk drop will result in oils and fats contaminating the white – don’t do it! Experience has taught us that the safest way to separate your eggs is to use the three bowls technique.
The first bowl you use to separate each egg white into, discarding the yolk into a second bowl. The third bowl you add the separated whites into once you are sure there is no yolk. This bowl then serves as your mixing bowl to make the meringue. So next time you’re separating eggs try this method, it will save a few tears, as it only takes one drop of yolk to spoil all of your separated whites.
Caster Sugar Tip
Use caster sugar rather than white sugar as it’s finer in texture and dissolves more easily.
Baking your pavlova at a low temperature helps to keep the pavlova white and also reduces cracking.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Open The Door
This is crucial in ensuring your pavlova doesn’t crack excessively and the residual heat in the oven allows the Christmas Pavlova Wreath to finish drying. It’s best to leave the pavlova in the oven for 6 hours, or overnight – just don’t open the door, not even for a super quick peek!
Opening the oven while the pavlova is cooling rapidly changes the temperature of the oven and is likely to cause the pavlova to crack.
We know it’s hard to resist just having a little peak but don’t do it, let your pav cool in the oven to prevent over cracking!
How To Store Pavlova
Pavlova is best made up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Fill the pavlova shortly before serving.
Watch How To Make Christmas Pavlova Wreath
What To Do With Leftover Egg Yolks?
Making a pavlova always leaves you with the question of what to do with the yolks. Try making our Creme Patissiere for a sensational custard filling for a fruit tart.
Our recipe for Super Simple Creme Anglaise is ridiculously easy to make and will just about guarantee you’ll never buy store-bought custard again. It goes perfectly with Christmas pudding if you’re going that route.
30 Second Whole Egg Mayonnaise made with egg yolks is super easy and delicious.
Easy Lemon Curd is a super quick and easy recipe to prepare and it’s delicious!. Butter, sugar, lemon juice, egg yolks, lemon zest, simply mixed and heated ….Voila! Instant sunny happiness.
Easy Homemade Passionfruit Curd is tropical sunshine and super easy to make. Homemade passionfruit curd is one of life’s pleasures. A few simple ingredients form a delicious, sweet and tangy tropical flavour that is deliciously creamy and amazingly versatile.
Don’t forget to rate this recipe and let us know what you thought when you make this fabulous Chrismas Pavlova Wreath in the reviews below.
Christmas Pavlova Wreath
Crispy on the outside with a soft marshmallow inside and topped with cream and fresh berries this dessert is bound to be a great finale for your Christmas feast.
Originally published 6 Dec 2020
- 6 x 60 gm (2 ounce) eggs whites
- pinch of salt
- 330 gm caster sugar (11 1/2 oz )
- 3 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 3 teaspoons cornflour
- 500ml cream (1 pint)
- fruit of your choice - we used strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
- mint leaves to decorate
- preheat oven to 130c (265f) on bake, not fan forced
- prepare a sheet of baking paper by drawing two circles one inside the other, circle 1/. 10cm (4 in) circle 2/. 26 cm ( 10.25 in)
- separate the egg whites and add to a metal or glass mixing bowl - see notes below
- add a pinch of salt and beat on medium speed until you have soft peaks - see notes below
- start to sprinkle the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time over the egg whites as they are beating, then wait 20-30 seconds and add the next spoonful - repeat until all of the sugar has been added
- occasionally stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl to ensure no sugar is left undissolved
- turn the mixer to high and beat for several minutes until all of the sugar has been dissolved - see notes below
- now reduce the speed to medium and add the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour scape down the bowl side once more and beat for another 10 - 15 seconds or until everything is mixed in
Assemble the pavlova
- place the baking paper onto a oven proof tray that has no sides, or turn a tray upside down to achieve this
- now place 4-5 small dabs of the pavlova mixture onto the tray - this stops the paper from moving while you assemble the pavlova
- place the baking paper onto the oven tray with the pencil markings facing down - we don't want to eat pencil lead
- using a large spoon place scoops of the mixture around the drawn circle, be sure to stay inside the lines
- continue like this until all of the mixture is on the tray - we had two layers
- using a spatula move around the inside and outside circles filling in any gaps and roughly smooth the top - this makes it easier to place the fruit once cooked
- place in the oven for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 100c (210f) for 90 minutes
- turn the oven off but DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR - we want the stored heat to finish drying the pavlova and the change in air temperature will cause the pavlova to crack
- leave in the oven for at least 6 hours or overnight
- now that the pavlova is cold take a spatular and gently work your way around the pavlova by pushing the spatula between the pav and the tray until you feel the pavlova release
- using two long bladed knives or spatulars gently ease them under the pavlova until the pavlova can be lifted and supported easily
- place onto your serving platter
- keep in a cool and dry space until ready to fill and serve
- It's almost impossible to make a pavlova without a crack or two, it's part of what a pavlova is. So don't worry if you have a few cracks as most of them will be covered by the cream and fruit. Just sit back and Enjoy!
ensure all of your equipment is clean as even the smallest spot of oil will prevent your egg whites from whipping
plastic bowls tend to hold onto grease and oil, hence it's preferable to use metal or glass bowls for mixing meringue
soft peaks means the egg whites have been beaten until when the beater is lifted from the bowl, the egg white that is attached to the beater forms a point which flops over when the beater is held upright
it's important that all of the sugar has dissolved to prevent the pavlova from weeping while it is cooking - it doesn't affect the flavour but it certainly affects the appearance of the finished pavlova
to check if the sugar has dissolved rub a small amount of the mixture between your fingers or have a small taste - if you can feel any sugar crystals continue beating until when tested there are no crystals at all
the pavlova is best made the day before and stored in a cool dry space until ready to serve
we filled our pavlova several hours before serving to keep the outside crisp
Amount Per Serving Calories 266Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 48mgSodium 32mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 31gProtein 2g
Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.