Mango-Pineapple Pavlovas

Recipe: Mango-Pineapple Pavlovas

Light, fruity pavlovas are a dessert favorite. This version uses tropical mango and pineapple in place of the usual berries and laces the fruit to the meringue base with an easy strawberry sauce. Adding cornstarch to the meringue mixture helps keep it crisp on the exterior and  soft on the inside, but if you prefer a more uniformly crisp meringue, you can leave it out. Bake the meringue up to 3 days ahead  and assemble the pavlovas no more than 10 or 15 minutes before serving or they may become soggy.

Mango-Pineapple Pavlovas

Serves 8

Meringues:

3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch salt
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Sauce and filling:

1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 1/2 cups diced pineapple
Mint leaves for garnish

To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 225°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until the mixture forms soft peaks. Very slowly whip in granulated sugar and then vanilla. Continue whipping until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift cornstarch over the top. Gently fold the cornstarch into the mixture until just combined.

Make 8 mounds of meringue on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each. Using a large spoon, make an indentation in each mound (this will hold the fruit filling), spreading the meringue out until each mound is about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the meringues are dried and crisped on the outside but not tan or browned, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven; crack the oven door and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from baking sheet and store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

To make the sauce, combine strawberries, orange juice, powdered sugar and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth; taste and add more sugar or lemon if desired. 

To assemble the pavlovas, fill each meringue base with prepared mango and pineapple, drizzle with strawberry sauce and garnish with mint.

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