How To Make Pavlova With Rose Water and California Berries


Pavlovas are the ultimate summer dessert Down Under. They truly are a super simple, show-stopping treat to take to barbecues, especially at the end of summer when California Grown berries are in peak season. When I was working on farms back in AUS, these desserst were everywhere, simply because they are one of the greatest vessels to showcase summer produce when its at its finest.

For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, I decided to make a riff on a classic pavlova, or as the Aussies call them, "pavs," by adding rose water sugar to the merengue instead of just using simple caster's sugar.

Middle Eastern flavors are having a moment both here in L.A. as well as in AUS (there's a huge Greek and Turkish population in Melbourne, which I recently revisited for a story in Conde Nast Traveler), so I figured why not combine the two? It lends a really cool floral element to the dessert that totally bowled over my friends when I brought it to a dinner party last week. It goes so well with a classic, crisp Cali white -- aka BBQ gold!

You can check out the video of how I made my pav below. I based mine off a recipe from Martha, because Lord knows she can do no wrong!

Here's the recipe to follow along:


4 large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar (also known as caster's sugar)

1 teaspoon rose water extract 

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped

Mixed California Grown berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, or figs

For Whipping Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp vanilla 

Sprinkle of rose sugar if desired


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Using an 8-inch Pyrex bowl or otherwise as a guide, trace the perimeter of the bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer parchment paper, pencil side down, to a baking sheet. Set aside.

Make your rosewater sugar by combining super fine (aka caster's sugar) with 1 tbsp rosewater. Gently mix the rosewater into the sugar using a spoon or your fingers to break apart any clumps.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together until glossy peaks form, about two minutes. Don't stop til decent peaks are formed. Trust me, I've done it and your pavlova will be soup! 

With mixer running, add sugar in three additions, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. This should take about 5 minutes. 

Sprinkle in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla; gently fold using a spatula to combine.

Mound the meringue in the center of the 8-inch parchment paper circle. Using a spatula, evenly spread meringue out towards the edges. Transfer your meringue on the baking sheet to oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

While your pav is baking, whip 1 pint heavy whipping cream and vanilla in your mixer on high until fluffy. (You can add some rose sugar to this, but I'm not a big fan of super sweet desserts, so I leave it out.)

When the pav is done baking, turn off the heat, and then let the meringue cool completely in oven. When meringue is cool and completely dry, transfer to your cake stand, serving tray, or cake carrier so that you don't have to transfer it with all the toppings on it. Then top with whipped cream and berries. And enjoy!