About the Recipe
This pavlova with maple-plum compote is my dessert dream come true. The pavlova base is crispy on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside, topped with a fluffy whipped cream and a luscious maple-plum compote. The compote is made by cooking juicy plums with pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt until they break down into a jammy consistency. The sweetness of the maple syrup complements the tangy plums perfectly, creating a balance of flavors that will leave you wanting more. This dessert is not only visually stunning, but it also satisfies your sweet tooth without being overly rich or heavy. Perfect for any occasion, it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
I absolutely love anything that has meringue. And I would often interchange using the terms Pavlova with Meringue. But did you know that they are actually considered two separate desserts?
Pavlova and meringue are both made from whipped egg whites and sugar, but there are some key differences between them.
Pavlova is a dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, and it is believed to have originated in either Australia or New Zealand. The dessert consists of a crispy meringue shell that is soft and marshmallowy on the inside, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Meringue, on the other hand, is a dessert in its own right, and it can be used as a component in other desserts such as lemon meringue pie or baked Alaska. Meringue is made by beating egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks form, and then baking the mixture in the oven until it becomes crispy and light.
In summary, pavlova is a dessert consisting of a crispy meringue shell with a soft, marshmallowy interior, while meringue is a dessert made from crispy, light egg white and sugar mixture. Pavlova is usually larger and topped with whipped cream and fruit, while meringue is typically used as a topping for other desserts.
4 Egg Whites
1 cup Superfine Sugar (Granulated Sugar can substitute)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 1/2 cups Plums (approx. 4-5)
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
Pinch of Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Water
1/4 cup Mint Leaves (chopped)
1 cup Whipping Cream
4 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
Additional Fruit Toppings:
This dessert uses very few ingredients and can be prepared in a short amount of time. The only long part is the baking of the Pavlova. It is the perfect spring or summer dessert and will definitely impress any guests attending your fabulous dinner party.
For this dessert, I used golden plums because I loved how sunny and bright they looked. You can also use purple plums or even apricots or peaches for the compote.
Begin by separating your eggs. For this dish, we will only be using the egg whites, so you can put the egg yolks aside for another baking project.
Add in the cream of tartar and whip the egg whites with a handheld beater until stiff peaks form. Slowly add in the sugar and the vanilla and mix until your egg whites are glossy.
I prefer using superfine sugar for this as it keeps the egg whites nice and fluffy and smooth. I do not often have superfine sugar in the cupboard, so what I tend to do is take regular granulated sugar and pulse it through my blender until fine. If you do not want to go through the process of doing this, using granulated sugar will work as well.
Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop your egg whites onto the sheet. You can either make one large mound with it, or make individual servings. I used a piping bag and a large closed star piping tip to create little egg white 'nests' that will then hold the toppings once baked.
Preheat your oven to 275F.
Place your baking sheet onto the center rack and bake for 40mins-1h15mins (depending on the size you made your pavlovas). Check them every once in a while, you want the pavlovas to feel crisp on the outside but not burn them. Once they start to harden, turn the oven temperature off and let the pavlovas sit in the oven as it cools down (another 30 minutes or so). In the meantime, prepare your plum compote.
To prepare the compote it is quite simple. Just cut up your plums into bite sized pieces, place them into a small saucepan, add the maple syrup, cinnamon and water and heat over medium-high heat until the plums start to soften (8-10 minutes). Stir every once in a while. As the plums start to soften, use your stirring spoon to press down on them to make them into a thick jam like consistency. Remove your compote from the heat and let cool. Cut up the mint leaves and stir half into the compote (approx. 1/8 cup).
While both the pavolvas and compote are cooling, prepare the whipped cream and other toppings.
For the whipped cream, simply add the whipping cream to a bowl and mix with your handmixer until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and mix for another 30 seconds until everything is well incorporated.
I love adding citrus to my pavlova, so I decided to supreme an orange (supreming is when you remove the membrane from around the fruit just leaving a wedge of juicy bulbs). I also added some fresh strawberry slices for color and sweetness.
Once all the individual pieces have cooled and been prepared and you are ready to serve, it is time to put it all together. Scoop or pipe some of the whipped cream into your prepared pavlova nests. Then spoon some of the plum compote over top. Finish by adding some fresh orange and strawberry slices and garnish with any leftover mint leaves.
I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do.
I also hope that you play around with the toppings! It is hard to go wrong.