This article is also available in German.
The Mini Pavlova with Blueberries dessert I would like to present to you today is incredibly easy to make and helps use up four leftover egg whites.
It impresses with its sweet taste and refreshes thanks to mint and blueberries. The whipped cream filling completes both flavors.
Whether Windbäckerei (as we call it in Austria), meringue, or pavlova. A deliciously sweet gluten-free dessert to work up leftover egg whites, it doesn't matter what you call it!
The Mini Pavlova impresses with its crispy consistency and amazes with its creamy filling.
Bottom line, a dessert that you must have tried! For most, it remains in the cooking repertoire afterward, thanks to its excellent properties:
- Easy preparation
- Long shelf life
- Quick and delicious repurposing of leftover egg whites
- An eye-catcher for guests
- Egg whites - well chilled
- Superfine sugar
- Potato starch or corn starch
- Heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
- Blueberries - or any fresh fruit you fancy
- Fresh mint
See the recipe card for quantities.
Take a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your Food processor. Place the well-chilled egg whites in it and beat them until very stiff.
Once the whipped egg whites have reached a nice firm consistency and stiff peaks form, slowly add the superfine sugar and continue beating.
While whipping, squeeze half a lemon and add a squeeze of the lemon juice to the beaten egg whites.
Add the potato or corn starch as well.
Once you've finished whipping up the mixture, preheat the oven to 100 °C // 212 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Now prepare the piping bag with a star tip. To make it easier to fill the piping bag, place it in a tall container after you have fitted it with the star nozzle. This way, you have your hands free, and filling in the egg white mixture is much easier.
Fill up the bag with the egg white mixture. As soon as the piping bag is full, twist the upper end together and close it with a clip. This clip will prevent the top of the piping bag from accidentally opening and spilling out.
Now pipe nine tiny heaps or nests onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure that the bottom of the piles is thin and that you create a nice high border all around.
After piping those lovely mini pavlova nests, put the full baking tray into the preheated oven. Bake the meringue nests for 100 minutes on the middle shelf.
Pipe nine tiny nests onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Take them out of the oven after cooling.
After the 100 minutes are over, turn off the oven. Open the oven door a crack and let the nests cool in the oven with the door open.
Once the meringue has cooled, you can remove the nine nests and store them in an airtight container.
Serve. To serve, pick up the desired amount of meringue nests and place them individually on dessert plates.
Wash the blueberries and mint and set them aside. For the filling, I used a ready-prepared whipped cream in a can for simplicity.
Place on a dessert plate.
Fill with whipped cream.
If you prefer to use a freshly whipped one, whip it in a tall mixing bowl until stiff. Pour the whipped cream into a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle and fill the mini pavlova nests with it.
After filling, garnish the whipped cream-filled nests with blueberries, mint, and dust with powdered sugar.
Garnish with blueberries.
Decorate with a mint leaf.
Enjoy your delicious pavlova.
It is very easy to vary the pavlova by using different seasonal fruit. The fruit toppings for pavlova are endless.
- Drizzle with homemade lemon curd
- Food processor or electric mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Lemon squeezer
- piping bag with a star tip (Wilton 1M)
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
You can store the yummy egg white nests trouble-free for several months in an airtight container. The only thing that matters in storage is that it stays nice and dry.
The pavlova, the filled meringue nest, should always be prepared fresh and eaten immediately after preparation, as the moisture of the whipped cream would otherwise make the wind ring slushy for a long time.
Can I freeze the pavlova?
No, unfortunately. If you freeze and then thaw before serving, they will get soggy.
💭 Top tip
It is crucial to make the base of the meringue thin. If it is too thick, it will remain soggy and not dry enough in the oven. Unfortunately, it happened to me with a nest, and I had to give it away.
The key is to start in the middle, finish in two circles, and then build up the "sidewall" of the nest.
🧐 The surprising truth about pavlova's origin
Baking a “pav” and turning up to a backyard barbecue with the dessert in hand is about as Australian as it gets. On Christmas Day, soon after the last prawn has been peeled, the white meringue cake topped with cream and fruit takes pride of place on tables across the country. It’s a dish synonymous with summer celebrations; a refreshing sweet treat on an often hot and sticky day. With many of us being brought up to believe it to be a local invention, it’s no wonder Australians feel such a strong affinity with pavlova.
The only problem is, New Zealanders feel the same way.
Pavlova (sometimes spelled pavlova in German) is a meringue cake filled with cream and fruit. It is considered one of the national dishes in both Australia and New Zealand; both countries claim the invention of the dessert. What is certain is that the cake was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who made guest appearances in both countries in the late 1920s. The Oxford English Dictionary cites New Zealand as the place of origin because the oldest known recipe of that name appeared there in 1927.
Since the meringue nests are the base of every pavlova, you can easily prepare those nests ahead - even weeks and months in advance. The filling and garnishing, however, you prepare best immediately before serving.
Some confuse meringue and pavlova, so let me explain the difference between these two.
Both meringue and pavlova are egg white desserts, and are made in a similar way. They both require egg whites to be whipped into a foam, with sugar mixed in, and are then baked at a low temperature until dry. However, meringue is crispy and dry throughout,
This perfect pavlova is a supremely light and fluffy dessert, with an amazingly crisp texture on the outside, and a marshmallow-like, melt-in-your-mouth texture on the inside. A pavlova is topped with sweetened whipped cream (or chantilly cream) and lots of seasonal fruits. It's a summer classic in New Zealand and Australia, and no BBQ (or Christmas) would be complete without a pav.
Oven too hot – If the oven temperature is too hot, the pavlova can caramelize and have an off-white color.
Addition of flavoring – Usually vanilla isn't added to a classic pavlova. However, some people like to add vanilla to offset an “eggy” smell. Adding vanilla can cause the meringue to have an off-white color as well. If the vanilla extract has water, then this can also cause the pavlova to weep as well.
Make sure you whisk the egg whites until they are thick and glossy. If runny, then the mixture will spread more as it bakes, resulting in a flat pavlova.
I also prefer to create furrows on the side of the pavlova with a small spatula, in an upward motion, to help the rising of the meringue. Just make sure that you use a spatula to shape the pavlova in an upward motion, before baking it in the oven.
These common pitfalls can be very frustrating and may sound intimidating, but I promise if you understand WHY these pitfalls occur, it's that much easier to prevent them, AND help you make the most perfect pavlova! 🙂
The largest Pavlova in history has been created by students from the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke's Bay. It took 5000 egg whites, 150kg of sugar and 150 litres of cream to build "Pavkong". The giant Pavlova stretched 64 metres, beating the previous record of 45 metres, held by Te Papa Museum in Wellington.
Mini Pavlova with Blueberries
- Food processor or electric mixer
- piping bag with a star tip (Wilton 1M)
- Baking tray
- Baking Paper
- 4 Egg whites well chilled
- 210 g Superfine sugar
- ½ Lemon
- 1 pinch of Potato starch or corn starch
- 250 ml Heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- 250 g Blueberries or any fresh fruit you fancy
- Fresh mint
- Take a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your Food processor. Place the well-chilled egg whites in it and beat them until very stiff.4 Egg whites
- Once the whipped egg whites have reached a nice firm consistency and stiff peaks form, slowly add the superfine sugar and continue beating.210 g Superfine sugar
- While whipping, squeeze half a lemon and add a squeeze of the lemon juice to the beaten egg whites.½ Lemon
- Add the potato or corn starch as well.1 pinch of Potato starch
- Once you've finished whipping up the mixture, preheat the oven to 100 °C // 212 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Now prepare the piping bag with a star tip.
- Fill up the piping bag with the egg white mixture. As soon as the piping bag is full, twist the upper end together and close it with a clip.
- Now pipe nine tiny heaps or nests onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure that the bottom of the piles is thin and that you create a nice high border all around.
- After piping those lovely mini pavlova nests, put the full baking tray into the preheated oven. Bake the meringue nests for 100 minutes on the middle shelf.
- After the 100 minutes are over, turn off the oven. Open the oven door a crack and let the nests cool in the oven with the door open.
- Once the meringue has cooled, you can remove the nine nests and store them in an airtight container.
Assembling and Serving
- For serving, pick up the desired amount of meringue nests and place them individually on dessert plates.
- Wash the blueberries and mint and set them aside.250 g Blueberries, Fresh mint
- Whip up the heavy whipping cream in a tall mixing bowl until stiff.250 ml Heavy whipping cream
- Pour the whipped cream into a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle and fill the mini pavlova nests with it.250 ml Heavy whipping cream
- After filling, garnish the whipped cream-filled nests with blueberries, mint, and dust with powdered sugar.Powdered sugar, 250 g Blueberries, Fresh mint
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend using digital scales for more accurate results. I provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe, but please note that I haven't tested it using this method.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
⛑️ Food Safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove