Legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova enthralled New Zealanders when she performed 38 shows in 1926, with a troupe of 50 and a 22-piece orchestra. In her honor, a Wellington chef created this now equally famous dessert, inspired by her ballet tutu.
Like ballet, it may look simple, but it can take a few tries and much finesse to get it just right, with crispy meringue on the outside and light (not chewy or syrupy) marshmallow on the inside. My mum made ours forever, so it wasn’t until this last New Year’s Eve, that I finally had the courage to whip one up. I’m delighted to say it got her approval!
Lashings of whipped cream on top cover myriad imperfections (should there be any). Topped with kiwifruit slices, strawberries, or passionfruit for some tartness, the New Zealand pavlova is enjoyed at any celebration. It’s great washed down with a glass of Daniel Le Brun brut bubbles from the South Island Marlborough region.
An iconic essential in every New Zealand kitchen is The Edmonds Cookery Book. This is my version of their Pavlova Recipe—my family’s favorite!