Mini Pavlovas are baked meringues served with Cranberry-Rosemary Curd then topped with whipped cream and sugared berries.
Have you ever made a Pavlova? They are a decadent combination of Baked Meringue, fruit, and whipped cream and named after the Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova. As elegant as they look, I promise you they are such an easy dessert to make.
The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. It is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals.
It is a dessert most identified with summer time, and popularly eaten during that period, including at Christmas (when it’s winter in the states, it’s summer down under!) however, it is also eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.
While I have often made this Raspberry and Chocolate Pavlova for summer desserts, I thought these Mini Pavlovas with Cranberry-Rosemary Curd would be perfect for a holiday celebration and dessert.
The meringue is really not much different than what you would make for the top of a pie but instead of baking at a high temp for a shorter period of time, they are baked lower and slower, allowing the outside to crisp while the inside is soft and almost like a marshmallow. They are quite simply divine. Combining them with a cranberry curd with a hint of rosemary that is topped with sweetened whipped cream is the perfect end to a special meal.
I love the flavor but if rosemary is not your thing, no problem, simply omit it. You might instead include a teaspoon or two of finely grated orange rind; cranberry and orange are very complimentary flavors. If you use, when you drain the water from the cranberries, don’t worry about the rind, just blend it with the berries.
The filling is not unlike a lemon curd, consisting of a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, butter, and fruit, cooked until slightly thickened. I had never ventured beyond lemon curd before but this was amazing…I might have to make more and drum up a drink concoction too!
The Mini Pavlovas with Cranberry-Rosemary Curd are easy to make but I’ve included a couple of photos to give you an example of some major steps of the process. Most important is to make sure you beat the meringue long enough. You do want it to get stiff and very firm so it will hold it’s shape during baking.
While you can use a tablespoon to dollop the meringues onto parchment paper, it’s so easy to make them with a frosting tip too. I love the Wilton 1M Frosting Tip, I use it for so many things, not just meringues. Check out these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes…you can see why it’s my favorite! I do buy disposable frosting bags but for a one time use, simply clip the corner of a Ziploc type bag and push the tip through, it will work fine!
If you want to sugar your cranberries, check out this post for a Red Wine Chocolate Cake for recipe instructions; I’ve used them to decorate that cake. One word of warning, these are addictive little suckers, make enough that you can nosh on some of them too!
If you’ve ever had Lemon Curd, you know what to expect with this Cranberry-Rosemary Curd. Thicker than a sauce, it has some body to it. You’ll use the egg yolks that are set aside when you make the meringues and add sugar, butter and cranberries that have been softened a bit in simmering water and then blended. It’s easy and luscious and just a bit tart…I think a perfect combination with the sweet and crispy meringues.
Use any form of fresh seasonal fruit and you’ve got a dessert for all seasons. strawberries and blueberries in the spring; raspberries and peaches or lemon curd in the summer; and even cooked pears and apples in the Fall. For winter cranberries are pretty perfect but I could also see pomegranate curd or even using the meringue shells for a chocolate pots de creme.
Aren’t they beautiful and festive. They look almost too pretty to eat but ignore that thought; they are too delicious not to! I’m sure I’m going to go mini crazy now that my mind is on these and I hope you’re inspired to try making them for a special occasion too. They are so easy and your family or guests will be so impressed!
PIN IT! ‘Mini Pavlovas with Cranberry-Rosemary Curd’
Mini Pavlovas with Cranberry-Rosemary Coulis
- 6 eggs whites at room temperature
- 1 & 3/4 cups superfine granulated sugar or pulse regular granulated sugar in food processor
- 1 tbsp Cream of Tartar or 2 tsp cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream homemade or ready made
- Regular or Sugared cranberries and fresh rosemary
For the Cranberry-Rosemary Coulis
- 1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ½ cup water
- 5 egg yolks separated
- 4 tbsp butter
- To Make the Pavlovas
- Carefully separate the yolks from the egg whites. Place egg whites in a
small dish and allow it to sit until it reaches room temperature. Set yokes aside in a separate
dish for the cranberry coulis recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper
and set aside.
- In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer; whip the egg whites on HIGH for 1
minute, or until a soft peak forms. With the mixer still on, gradually add the superfine sugar a
little bit at a time until it has fully dissolved. Continue beating at HIGH speed for 5-8 additional
minutes or until a stiff peak forms.
- Once a stiff peak forms, gently stir in the lemon juice, vanilla extract and cream of tartar (or
cornstarch if using). Transfer the meringue into a piping bag with a large serrated tip (if you don’t
have a piping bag, you can use a large Ziploc bag with a corner cut off, or a large spoon.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe or spoon the meringue into
3-inch round mounds, leaving them indented in the middle for the cranberry filling.
- Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. After one hour, turn the oven off and keep the door closed
until fully cooled (about 1 hour).
- Prepare the cranberry coulis while you wait.
- Do not assemble until 30 minutes before you want to serve. When ready, spoon a generous scoop of cranberry coulis in the middle of each pavlova. Top with whipped cream and garnish with sugared cranberries and fresh rosemary sprigs.
- To Make the Cranberry-Rosemary Coulis
- In a small saucepan, combine together the cranberries, water and rosemary sprig.
Simmer on low for 5 minutes; drain raspberries and discard the rosemary.
- Place the softened cranberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the
saucepan. Slowly mix in the egg yolks, one at a time, and sugar and continue stirring
on low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and cook until it starts to
- Pour the coulis in a bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until it
has cooled and thickened.