Vanilla Bean Pavlova with Honey Cream and Berries

by jenna on June 26, 2013

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When I was growing up, one of my very favorite desserts was just “berries and cream”.

I’d help myself to a huge bowl of fresh blackberries and raspberries, smother it with whipped cream and call it a day. There’s just something so comforting and nostalgic about it…maybe it’s the simplicity or the way it always reminds me of summer, my bathing suit drying in the sun.

Recently, I discovered a dessert I love even more than berries and cream, and that is pavlova. It combines my deep affection for crunchy meringue, whipped cream and fresh berries all on one plate. Heavenly.

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Despite taking a long time to bake {set aside an hour and a half to bake the meringue, then another hour and a half to let it cool in the oven}, pavlova is quite simple to make. It just involves some heavy whisking, a pint of cream {we like to use organic} and all the fresh berries you can find. It’s a rustic dessert, not meant to be perfect by any means. If you can bake chocolate chip cookies, you can certainly make this pavlova.

And the honey cream? Oh, the honey cream. You’ll be dunking berries, graham crackers, fingers – whatever you can find – into this stuff all day long…not to mention using it to top hot chocolate. Or, if you’re like me, filling a mug with half hot chocolate and half whipped cream. I call it a “chocolate whip” and it’s delicious.

I brought back this tiny glass jar of Swiss alpine honey and used it in this cream, but you can obviously use whatever honey you have on hand. I wouldn’t use anything with too bold of a flavor though — wildflower or orange blossom honey would probably work best.

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This pavlova would make for a lovely 4th of July dessert! Serve big scoops to eat while watching fireworks. As much as I love the meringue’s crispy shell, I think I love the soft, sweet interior just as much.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

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Vanilla Bean Pavlova with Honey Cream and Berries

serves 6

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients:

for the pavlova —

4 medium egg whites, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

seeds from 1 vanilla bean

for the honey cream —

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold

1 tbsp honey

2 cups fresh mixed berries {I used raspberries, blackberries and pomegranate seeds}

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whip the egg whites using an electric mixer until frothy, then gradually add the sugar. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla bean and continue beating until the egg whites form stiff glossy peaks {this will take about 8 minutes}.

Using a large rubber spatula, smooth the meringue into an 8″ circle on your parchment paper. Place into oven and bake for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, turn off the oven, but keep meringue inside for another 90 minutes. This lets it cool down very slowly, giving you a sweet crunchy exterior and a soft interior.

After the meringue has cooled completely, whip the cream with the honey until soft peaks form. Smooth this over the meringue and top with fresh berries. Enjoy immediately.

Time:

total time: 4 hours

active time: 30 minutes

**the meringue can be baked up to one day ahead of time and stored at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap

**serving hint: after the meringue has baked and cooled, cut the parchment paper closely with kitchen scissors around the meringue and then slide onto a glass cake stand with parchment paper still on the bottom. Assemble pavlova and just scoop out servings onto ready plates.

 

 

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

April June 26, 2013 at 1:32 am

Oh goodness, this looks simply wonderful! I have to try it… just for the honey cream and berries! Congratulations on your marriage too! Blessings to you both!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 26, 2013 at 2:09 am

It’s so pretty, Jenna! I’ve never made pavlova. I enjoy it but have never made it on my own. Yours sounds do-able. And it’s so festive and perfect for the Fourth. But berries and cream are perfect any time!

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Tieghan June 26, 2013 at 3:14 am

So pretty! This looks scary, but you make it sounds so easy. Perfect dessert for the fourth of July!

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Melissa June 26, 2013 at 3:18 am

This recipe is gorgeous! Will high humidity affect the meringue? I’ve always had more success with it around Christmas, when the air is very dry.
Just insisted rereading your book (again!), and tried out the Granola recipe from California- loved it!

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jenna June 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

High humidity will affect it, however I used to make meringue all the time in Florida (very humid!) and never had a problem. Here’s the key – once the meringue is in the oven DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. not even to peak! Keep it closed. When the timer goes off, still don’t open the oven door – let the meringue cool completely in the oven for another 90 minutes. Keep all windows in your house closed. That should help!

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Melissa June 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Thanks!

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Chrissy June 26, 2013 at 4:18 am

I always make my pavlova’s the night before and just let it hang out in the oven when it’s cooked. I love the idea of adding the vanilla bean to the meringue and honey to the cream and will definitely be trying this recipe on Canada Day when strawberries are in season. Glad you’re back Jenna – I was missing your recipes!

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Emily @ Running for Boston June 26, 2013 at 4:23 am

Yummy and a great summertime recipe!

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Josh Brancek June 26, 2013 at 4:27 am

Wow Jenna, that cake looks SOOOOOO TASTY!!!!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 26, 2013 at 4:47 am

Mmm this looks lovely! I’m not even a big desserts person, but I’ll always have a soft spot for pavlova. My gran used to make it and we’d always have it at family gatherings. You’re right about the wait – it’s totally worth it!

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Molly@RDexposed June 26, 2013 at 5:02 am

I like how different that this is compared to other recipes you’ve posted.
Does 1 vanilla bean = 1 tsp extract?

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jenna June 26, 2013 at 8:05 am

I would use two tsp vanilla for one vanilla bean :)

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Molly @ RDexposed June 27, 2013 at 5:27 am

Ok, thanks. I tried estimating when I made your blender clafoutis. Yum!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 26, 2013 at 5:10 am

I’ve always wanted to make pavlova and this looks perfect!

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Sonal June 26, 2013 at 5:15 am

This dessert looks so dainty and attractive! :) I’m sure it tastes amazing, must try this one out very soon, thanks Jenna!

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Lauren @ The Highlands Life June 26, 2013 at 5:19 am

This is a perfect 4th of July dessert! I love how beautiful it is without being so difficult to make. Can’t wait to try it.

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Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats June 26, 2013 at 6:21 am

My friend’s Mom used to make us a dessert similar to this back in the day that she called “Berries in a Cloud”. I keep meaning to ask her for the recipe because it brings back so many good memories, but now I may not have to! So beautiful, Jenna! Happy Wednesday!

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Caroline @ Pink Basil June 26, 2013 at 6:26 am

ooooooo this looks perfect for the summer! All the berries here on in season, this looks like a great way to use them :)

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Brianna June 26, 2013 at 6:41 am

The pomegranate seeds are a nice touch! Tasty and textural..yum. :) Happy Wednesday to you too!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health June 26, 2013 at 6:53 am

Gorgeous! I’ve never had Pavlova before but I love the sound of it.

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Bev @ Bev Cooks June 26, 2013 at 7:11 am

Gorguuuuush!

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jamie@ green beans & grapefruit June 26, 2013 at 7:18 am

Yum, I’m with you on this! Have you seen some of the pavlovas on What Katie Ate? They’re works of art.

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nora June 26, 2013 at 7:36 am

I grew up eating Pavlova using a combination of any fruits that were in season that day! Instead of using any whipped cream, my mom would make a simple sugar syrup, let it cool and pour it over the fruit right before she served it. The photograph of your Pavlove makes my mouth water!

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erin @hooleywithaz June 26, 2013 at 7:37 am

zomg. even though it has a lot of oven time, this dessert screams summer to me! it’s just so airy and light and the berries are the perfect topping. (berries and cool whip used to be my dessert of choice in college haha)

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Brittany @ Brittany Cooks June 26, 2013 at 7:41 am

Lovely. I have been toying around with the idea of making pavlova…thanks for the motivation! :)

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Joelle (on a pink typewriter) June 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

I’d heard of pavlova, but didn’t realize it was just meringue! I will have to try this asap when I’m moved into my new apartment. :)

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allie@sweetpotatobites June 26, 2013 at 8:20 am

I love berries with cream too! Will definitely be giving this a try.

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Carolyn June 26, 2013 at 8:30 am

Looks amazing! I love your “chocolate whip” idea. When I worked at a coffee shop I had a regular customer who would always order half a cup of coffee and the rest whipped cream. “This is how the Germans drink it,” he said (he was German, of course). I’ve adopted this and do it whenever I want some sweetener-and-cream-in-one!

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Barbara June 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

These sound amazing – I just wish I could see your pictures! Do you have any updates with what I’m doing wrong that I can’t see your blog?

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jenna June 26, 2013 at 8:41 am

Unfortunately, no one can find a problem (talked with my web guys) and no one else is having this issue! I’m so sorry – it’s so frustrating. I think it might have something to do with your web browser? That’s the only thing I can think of!

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judith scott June 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

Jenna, As lucious as this looks, and perfect for the 4th, I agree, I am sure you are waaay more beautiful on your wedding day! Pretty please, post 1 shot (candid is fine) of the bride and groom :-)

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jenna June 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

I don’t have photos to share yet! I Promise when I do, I will definitely share them with you guys. Sorry it’s taking so long!

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Margarita June 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

beautiful!!! love the three layers of luscious goodness!

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dixya| food, pleasure, and health June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

i had my first ever pavlova not too long ago and it was delightfully light. I am so interested in that honey cream- yum yum

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Emily @ Life on Food June 26, 2013 at 9:30 am

Perfect for the 4th! My husband loves berries and cream although sometimes I think it is more cream and than berries. I recently got back into using honey with everything. The flavors sound greats

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Deva June 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

This looks amazing – so light and fluffy! I love all of the lush berries in the markets right now – they’re so tasty.

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Michelle June 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

This sounds delicious. I am a little nervous about making a summer merengue, since it’s so humid here in the DC area. Any tips on making sure a merengue gets crisp when the humidity is high?

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Bryony June 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

My grandma used to make the best pavlova! Can’t wait to try this.

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Renee June 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

Yummy! That looks like the best 4th of July dessert ever. Never heard of Pavlova before. Looks like a really cool dessert.

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Caroline L. June 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

This does indeed look so heavenly! Our chef at school always likes to give us berries & cream for dessert, so I get the whole thing about it feeling nostalgic! Such a simple dessert that packs a punch :)

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SarahNW June 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Um, can we please talk about your great food photography? The color contrast is perfect but instead of looking too stark you “homestyle” it up with that sweet plate. It’s the best!

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Malkire June 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

oh this looks like the perfect summer dessert!!

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Elissa June 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I’ve been wanting to try pavlova for a long time! This would make an awesome dessert for the 4th!!

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Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste June 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm

This looks absolutely stunning and like the perfect patriotic treat for the Fourth! Thanks for sharing!

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Zainab| Blahnik Baker June 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Just beautiful!! Perfect for next week :)

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 26, 2013 at 10:13 pm

We make pavlova’s all the time — it’s just so elegant and easy :)

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Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope June 27, 2013 at 3:00 am

I love how elegant, yet summery and fun, this recipe is! Gorgeous photos and the recipe sounds incredible!

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Yvonne June 27, 2013 at 6:34 am

Sounds really yummy! Can’t wait to make it! BTW, where did you get that cool spoon? I love it!

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Melanie June 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

Jenna I want to attempt this next for a July 4th party but am curious if it is ok to remove the parchment completely? Or is it better to leave it attached as you described?

Congrats on your marriage!! So glad you guys took time for a honeymoon right after your wedding – I think it’s so important to have that time and not delay it.

Enjoy!!
Melanie

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jenna June 27, 2013 at 7:42 am

You can totally remove it but its going to be hard and there’s a chance the pavlova will fall apart. I just found keeping the parchment paper on makes it easier to serve – and you really can’t tell – the parchment paper is still on in these photos.

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Melanie June 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

Thanks!

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Micaela June 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

As a New Zealander living in Australia (the two countries have an ongoing good natured fight over who ‘invented’ the pav) it warms my heart to see you spreading the pavlova love. When I was in the states for thanksgiving a few years ago we had pav for dessert and everyone loved it. It is such a fun thing to eat. The commercially made ones are horrible compared to homemade too!

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lexi June 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm

ughghg i wish I knew ahead of time that a tiny bit of egg yolk in the whites could sabotage the whole thing. I’ve been beating for half an hour before I finally googled “why did my meringue fail.” Getting ready to start over cuz I really wanna make this it looks so good!

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