Doesn’t this Naartjie and Greek yogurt pavlova just brighten up your day and remind you of spring and freshness. I have always loved pavlovas. They are so easy to make but are always a showstopper dessert. I developed this recipe in collaboration with MUNCHING MONGOOSE. I knew I was getting farm fresh organic egg included in my delivery and I wanted to make a stunning dessert and decided on a really simple and seasonal pavlova. I also used the organic lemons from my delivery and decided on seasonal naartjies and Greek yogurt for the filling.
Why the name pavlova?
Food historians have claimed the dessert was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who first toured Down Under in 1926, in which a Wellington chef created the dessert in her honour but there is some conflicting research whether it originated in New Zealand or even in America.
A lot of people are really scared of making pavlova but it really is so easy and did I mention budget friendly. There are a few important things to remember though
Let’s talk eggs
The eggs you use should be fresh and at room temperature. When separating the yolk and white there should be absolutely no egg yolk present in the egg white. The fat in the yolk will make beating it to a soft peak stage almost impossible, Also make sure your mixing bowl and egg beaters are clean. You will need an electric whisk for this job.
Other tips are to cook the Pavlova at a low temperature in the oven for a long period of time. Also let the Pavlova cool down in the oven so the meringue can dry out. Pavlova is a really great make-ahead dessert where you can make the Pavlova a few days or even weeks ahead and store it in an air tight container.But the filling should only be added at the last minute to prevent the Pavlova from going soggy. The reason you have to add lemon juice and cornstarch to the recipe is to keep the meringue stable so it is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside
Lower or replace the refined sugar
I am always trying to reduce or cut out sugar in my recipes so you can also use xylitol but I will suggest that you grind it first to a castor sugar texture. For the filling, I used a good quality high-fat Greek Yogurt and flavoured it with lemon zest, naartjie zest, vanilla, and honey. The toasted flaked almonds take the taste of the dessert to whole new level. I used yogurt because I always have it in my fridge but it can be a little runnier than obviously whipped cream. It is just a cheaper, lower in fat, easily available option.
- 4 egg whites
- 125 g castor sugar Replace with xylitol
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- pinch salt
- 250 g jogurt
- 1 lemon's zest
- 1 naartjies zest
- 3 tbs honey (or to taste)
- 2 tbs toasted almond flakes
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Handful Fresh mint
- 2 fresh naartjies
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, a couple of tbs at a time, blending well after each addition until glossy and stiff. Beat in the vanilla extract, then sprinkle the cornstarch and lemon juice over the top and whip until it holds it’s shape.
Spread the meringue onto a silicone sheet or parchment paper. You will need a large flat baking tray of 40cm x 40cm. Keep on shaping it with a spoon and knife until you get a round shape. Make sure to make a nest shape in the middle of the circle for the filling.
Bake in a preheated oven of 100'C for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in for another 30 minutes or until firm and (hopefully!) crisp on the outside.
Once cooled, the meringues can be stored in an air tight container for up to a couple of days. Don’t assemble the pavlovas until right before serving or they’ll get soft from the jogurt.
Place yogurt in mixing bowl, add honey, vanilla, and zest of lemon and tangerine and mix through.
Toast almond flakes in a dry pan on the hob until golden brown.
Fill pavlova with the yogurt filling and decorate with the naartjies, flaked almonds and mint.