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In The Kitchen With Louise Nielsen
Pavlova, A Dessert as Light as a Ballerina

Pavlova. Light. Cloud-like. A cumulus dream, topped with fruit. Its base is a meringue, egg whites whipped and baked into a crisp shell, its center soft and delicate. A New Zealand chef created this dessert in honor of 20’s Russian ballerina Pavlova, saying she danced like a cloud. Here, Louise Nielsen spreads the Pavlova with a tart lemon curd, and tops it off with pretty fruit from the market. The lemon curd may be substituted with whipped cream, further elevating this confection to the lofty heights of its namesake.

For Pavlova:

• 4 egg whites
• 1 1/4 cups white sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9” circle on the paper. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch. Spoon mixture into the circle on the parchment paper and spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. Bake for 1/2 hour. Turn off oven and let meringue sit for another 1/2 hour, being careful not to let it brown. Cool on a wire rack. Fill the center with lemon curd, whipped cream, or pastry cream and top with sliced fresh fruit.


Louise Nielsen is an Instructional Specialist at HCAT (Hotel, Culinary and Tourism Institute) at Anne Arundel Community College where she teaches baking and pastry making. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has been pastry chef in renown DC and Annapolis restaurants. She enjoys waterfront life with her family on the Magothy River.

From Vol. 3, No. 2 2012
Annapolis Home Magazine