A pavlova is an exceptionally stunning dessert. Even before it goes in the oven it is a bright white pillow, so soft and billowy you’d be tempted to lay down your head for a snooze. But baked to a delicate crisp in the oven, it is even more ethereal. The outside is a fine, thin shell just begging to be cracked open to reveal its toasted marshmallow interior.
The true beauty of pavlova however is that the prep time is actually very minimal—few desserts are as pretty and easy to make. You basically just whip some egg white, mound it on a baking sheet, pop it in the oven, and set a timer. The pavlova is best if made at least a day in advance (and fine up to even 3 days in advance). So it works splendidly for summer get togethers and weekend parties.
In fact I’d argue that a pavlova is a perfect summer dessert. It complements any fresh, ripe fruit and can be topped with sorbet or ice cream just as easily as whipped cream. And although it looks indulgent it is really very light, when topped with the whipped coconut cream there is no dairy or gluten involved.
The pavlova, composed of just a few simple ingredients, makes an excellent canvas for a cooks individual flair, so have fun with it. Whatever you do choose fruits that are at their peak of flavor and ripeness; fresh berries, stewed rhubarb, or juicy apricots would be good, the adaptations are endless for this very versatile, simply gorgeous dessert.