Christmas pavlova

Christmas pavlova

These individual pavlovas are filled with caramelised pineapple, topped with vanilla-infused cream and finished with a passionfruit coulis – a truly showstopping dessert by Covent Garden restaurant, Ave Mario
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Start with the meringue. Whip the egg whites in a mixing bowl until they form stiff peaks. Add half the caster sugar. Mix again for 2 mins. Add the remaining caster sugar. Mix again for 2 mins or until the sugar grains have disappeared. When the mixture has become fluffy, add the icing sugar in two stages and mix gently with a spatula, trying not to let the mixture lose its air.
  2. Step 2

    Line a baking tray with baking paper, sticking it down with a dab of the meringue. Put the meringue in a piping bag and pipe four balls onto the tray. Alternatively, dollop on with a spoon, though it will be less decorative. Dip a tablespoon into the sunflower oil, allowing any excess to drip off, before hollowing out a crater in the meringue balls. Bake the meringues in the oven at 80C/60C fan/gas ½ for 2 hrs. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set to one side.
  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, start on the pineapple. Melt the sugar in a wide pan over a low-medium heat until amber, being careful not to burn it, then add the pineapple, lime juice, zest and peppercorns. The caramel may seize up but don’t worry. Cover and cook for 30 mins over a low-medium heat – any crystals that have formed will melt away with the heat.
  4. Step 4

    When the pineapple is cooked, remove, transfer to a dish and leave to cool, then leave in the fridge to chill completely. Once chilled, take the pineapple and cut into small pieces. Strain the juice from the pan, then add to the pineapple pieces and mix. Set aside.
  5. Step 5

    Move on to the coulis. Heat the purée in a medium pan over a low heat. Open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the pan followed by the pod. Add 50g of the sugar plus the spices. Leave to gently infuse for 20 mins.
  6. Step 6

    Strain the mixture back into a pan. Combine the remaining sugar with the agar agar and pour into the purée while stirring. Boil for 2-3 mins to activate the agar agar. Strain again, leave to cool and set aside in the fridge.
  7. Step 7

    Put the cream and sugar for the chantilly cream in a mixing bowl. Scrape in the vanilla pod seeds and beat together – be careful not to overwhip the cream, the texture should resemble shaving cream.
  8. Step 8

    Arrange the meringue nests on serving plates. Add some of the pineapple to the hollows of the meringues. Use a spoon or piping bag to pipe on the chantilly cream. Drizzle with the coulis, sprinkle extra pineapple on top, and grate over lime zest to add some freshness.