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Say hello to your new favorite peach dessert: peaches and cream pavlova AKA an impossibly light, melt-in-your-mouth pavlova topped with freshly whipped cream, and juicy peach slices.
Peaches and Cream Pavlova
She’s light. She’s perfectly sweet. She’s a crowdpleaser. And, not that looks matter, but she’s reallllll cute too.
Peaches and cream is one of the most underrated flavor combinations of all time. Like, is it just me, or is at absolutely baffling that oranges and cream is a more popular flavor? I get it–creamsicles are good, but a peaches and cream creamsicle would be far superior. The light, creamy whipped cream is perfectly complemented by the juicy, simultaneously tart and sweet peachy flavor.
And because the grocery store is overflowing with ripe peaches, we just had to make a homemade pavlova topped with freshly whipped cream and peach slices and call it peaches and cream pavlova. Have you heard of something more fun and tasty?!
Ingredients for Peaches and Cream Pavlova
While this peaches and cram pavlova may look super fancy, it’s actually a pretty straightforward recipe. Plus you’ll need a handful of ingredients, all of which you probably already have in your fridge or cupboard
Here’s your grocery list:
Egg Whites: Like any meringue, stiffly beaten egg whites will form the light and airy structure of your pavlova.
Granulated Sugar: Sugar will most importantly sweeten, but also aerate the egg whites and create a beautiful crisp exterior. That being said, the last thing you want is a gritty pavlova, so make sure you beat the batter long enough to get rid of any granules.
Vanilla Extract: Any good dessert needs a high quality vanilla extract to set it over the edge.
Cream of Tarter: Cream of tartar will help to stabilize your egg whites!
Heavy Cream: You can’t have a peaches and cream pavlova without some cream obviously! Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream will do the trick1
Powdered Sugar: A little powdered sugar will go a long way in stiffening and sweetening your homemade whipped cream.
Fresh Peaches: Fresh juice peaches will perfectly complement your pillowy soft, marshmallowy meringue and fresh whipped cream.
Peach Preserves: This one is optional, but I just love a lightly drippy/saucy pavlova. We used a drizzle of peach preserves (we love Bonne Maman), to give this peach pavlova an extra peachy punch.
How to shape pavlova
I recommend baking your cake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. You shouldn’t make meringues on a greased surface as the egg whites need a little something to grip to and hold their structure. I recommend tracing the size and shape you want the pavlova to be. You can trace an 8 inch cake pan for a big pavlova or you can always make about 6 to 8 mini pavlovas if desired. Tracing the shape will give you some guidelines to stick to in terms of size, but feel free to have fun with it. Once you’ve shaped the batter into a round, make sure you make a divot in the center (sort of like a very shallow volcano), so you have a little shallow hole to pile with freshly whipped cream and those in-season peaches.
Why does pavlova crack?
Cracking is inevitable with a meringue this big, so try not to sweat it. Air bubbles, abrupt temperature changes, and oven intricacies can all lead to cracking unfortunately. BUT here are a few things that we’ve found helpful to prevent cracking:
Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the pavlova before baking. Granules of sugar not only make a gritty pavlova, but can also cause air bubbles to form which leads to cracks.
Know your oven. If there’s one thing I wish was more common knowledge, it’s that ovens are extremely temperamental and vary A LOT. If you know your oven tends to run hot or cold, adjust the temperature accordingly. If the temperature is too high it can cause the pavlova to expand and crack.
If your oven has a fan in it to disperse the heat bake the pavlova at 200°F instead of 250°. If possible, turn off the fan to prevent any uneven heating or disturbance.
Try not to open the oven while the pavlova is cooking. I know it’s a LONG time to not take a peak, but changes in temperature cause cracks, so it’s best to leave it be.
That’s being said, don’t cry over cracked pavlova. It’s going to crack the second you cut into it anyway, and tt will be every bit as scrumptious and just as beautiful with a few cracks!
Enjoy your peaches and cream pavlovas, my friends!
Preheat oven to 250°F and adjust the rack to the lowest part of the oven.
Using a pencil, draw an outline of an 8-inch cake pan on parchment paper. Flip the paper over and place on a cookie tray. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed until their foamy and little bubbles form. Continue whisking, gradually bringing the speed up to medium, beating until the egg whites forms soft peaks. In small additions (I mean this–do not just dump the sugar in in a few editions!), begin to gradually beat in the granulated sugar, salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form and the sugar is almost completely dissolved.*
Add the vanilla extract. Beat on high speed for 4-5 minutes until the meringue is stiff, glossy, and has no granules of sugar remaining.
Spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper and, using a cake scraper, form the meringue into a tall disk within the 8 inch circle you previously outlined with the cake pan. Using the cake scraper, create a slight divot in the center of the meringue, like a volcano’s center. Last, use the scraper or a large spoon to shape the sides into desired design.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, then turn off heat, crack the door of the oven so it stays ajar, and allow the pavlova to sit for an additional hour in the oven. While it sits in the oven, the pavlova will dry out completely. After an hour, remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the pavlova is cooling, whip up the topping! In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar sugar until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pavlova.
Thinly slice your peaches and place on top of the whipped cream. If using peach preserves, place in the microwave or 30 seconds to warm up before drizzling over the pavlova.