Cranberry Pavlova Recipe
Some desserts are simply too beautiful not to share. And this is one of them. The Cranberry Pavlova is a holiday-inspired take on one of my favorite naturally gluten-free desserts. The pavlova, if you’re not familiar, is a meringue-based dessert that was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, and is said to have originated in either Australia or New Zealand (I will certainly not take sides, just know it’s popular in both countries!).
Because ‘tis the season for cranberries and ballet is pretty popular too this time of year (The Nutcracker), my mind went towards pavlova when thinking of a festive dessert to make for a recent holiday party. Sprinkled with some pistachios to add a pop of green and we’ve got ourselves a very merry meringue!
For this pavlova, I used duck eggs (from Nature’s Yoke) instead of chicken eggs. An Australian friend of mine told me that duck egg whites are the secret to her acclaimed pavlova, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I must say, they make a delicious difference!
If you’re looking for something other than pie or fudge as a holiday treat, this dessert is a great choice. What are some of your favorite holiday desserts?
- 4 duck egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 4 duck egg yolks
- 1 large orange
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold butter , cut into pieces
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup shelled , roasted, and salted pistachios, chopped
- Mint , for garnish
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Trace a circle around an 8- or 9-inch round cake or pie pan onto a piece of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper marked side down on a baking sheet.
Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks start to form. Slowly beat in the sugar, a little at a time. Continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in the cornstarch, then the vanilla and vinegar. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet using the circle as a guide. With the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the center of the pavlova. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until crisp around the edges and the center is fully set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. When cool, remove from the parchment paper and place on a serving plate.
While the pavlova is baking, make the cranberry curd. Lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork in a bowl and set aside.
Finely grate the zest of the orange and squeeze the juice into a measuring bowl. Add enough water to make a total of ¾ cup. Pour into a medium saucepan, add the zest and cranberries, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 15 minutes.
Place a fine strainer over a bowl. Pour the cranberry mixture into the strainer and press with the back of a spoon, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Return the strained cranberries to the saucepan with the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved fully. Whisk about 2 tablespoons of the warm cranberry mixture into the egg yolks, then add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter – whisking until the butter is melted and the mixture is fully combined. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Before serving, put the cranberry curd in the center of the pavlova. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form and place on top of the cranberry curd. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and serve.
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