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Passion Fruit and Mango Pavlovas

There are two schools of thought with pavlova. You can portion them into individual meringues, or bake as one big mound, ready for an abundance of curd, cream and fruit. In either case, flowery passion fruit curd, fragrant mango and tart passion fruit seeds are ideal companions to the egg-white confection.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. malt vinegar

For the passion fruit curd:

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) granulated sugar 
  • 2 whole eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small
      pieces
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) passion fruit juice, strained 
  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Whipped cream for serving
  • 2 large mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 passion fruits, halved (optional)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in the superfine sugar and continue to beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the cornstarch and vinegar.

Spoon 6 to 8 dollops of the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, dividing the mixture evenly and spacing them 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) apart, or, for 1 large meringue, spoon into a single large mound. Use the back of the spoon to create an indentation in the center of each mound.

Bake for 2 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 250°F (120°C). Continue to bake until crisp to the touch, about 1 hour for individual meringues or 1 hour and 40 minutes for a large meringue. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue(s) in the oven to cool completely, about 2 hours or up to overnight.

Meanwhile, make the curd: In a bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, whole eggs and egg yolks. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, passion fruit juice and lime juice and stir until the butter melts. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the curd to a heatproof container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

To serve, place the meringue(s) on plate(s) and fill the center(s) with the curd, dividing it evenly. Top with whipped cream and the mango cubes. Squeeze the passion fruit seeds and pulp over the top of each pavlova, then serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).