29 Jul2009

Passion Fruit Pavlova

by Marketman


I was never a huge fan of pavlovas, the dessert. They always seemed so airy and pouffy; I leaned more towards desserts with substance. If the pavlova was topped with fantastic fruit like sweet raspberries, etc., for me it was about the berries and cream, not the meringue. But it’s funny how particular people can influence you to change your opinions about a dish. If you watch Nigella Lawson make a passion fruit pavlova, you have an almost pavlovian response… Heehee. She makes things look so easy and her descriptions of food are so sensual, you are at least tempted to give a dish you would have normally eschewed another try… So Nigella is the inspiration for this dish, and the base recipe for the meringue is hers, google it if you are interested.


But increasingly, it isn’t JUST about reading an interesting recipe or watching a neat segment on a cooking show. I find that more and more I am cooking based on what I find in the markets, with what’s naturally in season, with bottled or canned goods that were presents from friends from their travels… I guess I am getting more comfortable in the kitchen. Willing to “wing it” or experiment, to sometimes total disasters and occasionally a nice result… So besides the Nigella segment i saw a few days ago, we happened upon some ripening probably totally organic passion fruit in the Bacolod market (photo above) that the vendor sold to us for just 50 centavos (1 cent) each and I took some of these home to Manila. Then I realized we also had a bottle of passion fruit preserves in the pantry, a gift from a friend who came back from a trip several weeks ago. A quick check in the freezer confirmed I had some frozen egg whites saved from a leche flan so everything was set to try a passion fruit pavlova!


Make the meringue according to Nigella’s recipe, but keep the oven a little cooler than she suggests or double up your pan to ensure that the bottom of the meringue does not burn. I did a two layer pavlova instead of one. To the whipped cream I added some sugar and several tablespoons of passion fruit preserves and spread the cream on the first layer of meringue and added some fresh passion fruit.


I topped this with another layer of meringue, more cream and lots of passion fruit on top, both fresh passion fruit and the remaining preserves. Serve soon after assembly. It looked great. It tasted okay. I particularly liked the sourish notes of the fresh passion fruit with the sweeter preserves and the cream. But now I am back to reality. I am still not fond of pavlovas… :) If you do want to make this and don’t have the preserves, just heat up some of the fresh passionfruit with sugar over low heat until dissolved and a bit syrupy… in other words, homemade preserves.




  1. Angela says:

    Nice pics. Reminds me of sans rival–but different. Even though I like sans rival, I’m not sure that I would like the pavlova.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 9:38 am


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  3. natie says:

    mmmm–the crunch! and the sweet and tangy passion fruit!

    Jul 29, 2009 | 9:47 am

  4. dragon says:

    Not a big fan either; am sure you’re aware of how Aussies love their pavs–I find the brazo and sans rival more interesting and appealing. Thank god I can make my own brazo so never a problem when the craving comes but sans rival: tried making it once, disappointed and now I’m intimidated to try it again….

    Jul 29, 2009 | 9:54 am

  5. Peach says:

    What?! 50 centavos for each passion fruit?? What a steal!
    Halos ipamigay.

    Pavlova looks really fresh and yummy!

    Jul 29, 2009 | 9:57 am

  6. Lou says:

    Scrumptious! I made a stab at a pavlova myself many weeks ago. Husband liked it but didn’t love. So now I’m going to try a Brazo de Mercedes (which I know isn’t one of your favourite desserts MM) and maybe that will appeal more!

    Jul 29, 2009 | 10:20 am

  7. millet says:

    passion fruit is one of my favorite things to have in the garden, except that it grows so fast and tends to climb over the fruit trees. our durian trees at one time looked weird with smooth yellow fruit hanging everywhere.

    but i love having the fruit available anytime..just scoop the flesh and seeds into a pitcher, smoosh them around with some sugar or simple syrup, add water, ice cubes, and you have a very refreshing drink! if you let it stand about half an hour before drinking, the flavor is stronger.

    the great thing is, after you’re done with the first pitcher of juice, add more water and syrup to the pulp, and you have a second batch of juice, just as good as the first.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 10:24 am

  8. mila says:

    I was watching this show about heath and nutrition, and there was a section about healthy desserts. Between a cheesecake, an apple pie with custard, and a pavlova, the latter won the low-calorie contest, all those egg whites I guess.
    Oh, MM, am thinking of you and Joey these days, am splurging on Fage.
    Happy eating!

    Jul 29, 2009 | 10:26 am

  9. Marketman says:

    mila, ARRGHH, the last time we were in HK, I searched in vain for Fage… But I just had some yoghurt with homemade ginger syrup for breakfast and it was pretty good… :)

    Jul 29, 2009 | 10:42 am

  10. sanojmd says:

    i’m not familiar with the passion fruit but i encountered pavlova several times.. hmm, maybe i will pass this..hehehe. lou, do you have recipe for brazo? i’m planning to make one. but the archives of mm does not have the recipe for brazo coz i know he doesn’t love the cake.. thanks

    Jul 29, 2009 | 10:58 am

  11. Maria Clara says:

    To me pavlova makes a great table presentation just like a woman with good looking well made up face! The whipped cream and the fruit filling are the bloodlines of pavlova. One of the Farmer’s market vendors and passion fruit nerd told me the outer skin of the passion fruit must be completely wrinkled and that’s the telling part the fruits reached their peak and ready for savoring. Just rest them on top of your kitchen counter until they reach the wrinkly stage. Never seen the price of passion fruits drastically dropped even when they have bumper crops. Just like Millet said they make good fruit flavored water and love them in iced tea just regular brewed Lipton black tea and sweetened passion fruit that napped in the fridge overnight. Great thirst quencher.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 12:26 pm

  12. Ynna says:

    Just curious…How long can you store egg whites in the freezer? :)

    Passionfruit juice is great mixed with calamansi or dalandan.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 12:49 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    Ynna, I suspect several months, but maybe up to 4-5 weeks to be safest…

    Jul 29, 2009 | 1:55 pm

  14. currystrumpet says:

    i was watching the same segment just a few days ago! i’m not too fond of nigella (or of passion fruit, or of pavlovas), but there was just something hypnotic about the show.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 2:26 pm

  15. betty q. says:

    dragon: Can I help you trouble shoot with your Sans Rival? I just made a total of 10 Saans Rival last week-end for my brother. Frankly, I would rather make the Sans Rival than those mousse filled cakes. I can make 3 samll Sans Rival in teh same amount of time it takes me to bake a cake from start to finish but just the sponges alone. Have yoou tried the recipe I shared a while back? ECC has mastered the SansRival following the recipe and the tips I shared.

    Sanojmd: I can share my brrazos recipe with you as well if you want and the tips on how to roll it without cracking! We are just away on holidays now. As soon as qet back,I will share it with you.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 2:27 pm

  16. joey says:

    Not a fan of pavlovas either…or anything with egg white…but yes, I have seen this episode of Nigella and she does make it look so tempting :) To give her credit, she has not failed me yet with the stuff of her’s that I have tried…

    Your pav looks luscious too! :)

    Jul 29, 2009 | 2:33 pm

  17. sanojmd says:

    wow, thanks betty q..! i was browsing over the archives and looking over at the comments section hoping you would share yours.. wow, thanks so much. my wish is granted.. btw, betty q you’re on a holiday and still reading mm’s post..hehe. u don’t want to miss all the fun, huh?? hehe. thanks betty! btw, i’m planning to bake also your sansrival. but i’m hoping the universe to conspire on me to make it right and perfect. to give justice to your recipe.. i’ll update you on what the outcome is.. cheers!

    Jul 29, 2009 | 3:43 pm

  18. chrisb says:

    MM, from what I see on the photos, you may have spread your Pavlovas too thinly! It should be thicker, with a crisp sans rival-like crust outside, and a marshmallowy soft inside. And the color should be much lighter. The contrast in textures is what makes this dessert great! At least for those who like Pavlovas =)

    Jul 29, 2009 | 6:12 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    chrisb, you are right, it was too flat, or my eggwhites too old so it didn’t whip up enough. But the Nigella recipe encourages a “hot start” to the oven at say 180C then immediately turning it down to 150C. After an hour cooking, turn off the oven and let it sit there until cool. I found this temperature too hot and next time would lower the temp. The meringue was nicely crisp on the outside and still chewy inside, but within an hour of pulling it out of the cooled oven, it started to get a bit soggy from the humidity. I know there are others who have almost creamy white pavlovas, but that’s a bit different (probably harder! :) than the Nigella one, requiring a much lower oven temperature for a longer cooking and drying out period. Will have to try this again, despite my dislike of pavlovas, to see if I can do it better.

    I just surfed other recipes and they suggest starting oven at 150C and immediately lowering it to 120C for an hour, then turn off to dry out. That sounds a little more like it.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 6:46 pm

  20. sister says:

    How about putting a mound of eggwhite mixture on the silpat or paper and using the back of a spoon to make a “nest” or pipe circles? Bake and fill with passion fruit filling, or any other fruit or cream, even chocolate filling, and then pipe whipped cream on top. It would look a lot more attractive.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 7:48 pm

  21. diday says:

    Who would have thought that the ‘weed’ that climbed annoyingly in our backyard in Cebu is what Aussies call ‘wild’ passion fruit. While I loved popping the fruit when I was young (er) my Aussie officemates love to pick it and eat it straightaway.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 8:44 pm

  22. chrisb says:

    When you try it again, bake it in an even cooler oven than you’re planning, maybe 130, then turn down to 100 for an hour and then turn it off. I’ve tried her recipe countless times but I did ignore the temperature she suggested, preferring to bake with my eye instead =) Better if you check it every 15-20 minutes or so. When the top dries and starts to crack, turn turn the oven off na (at this point color should still be a medium dark beige rather than brown) and leave it to cool inside the oven. Hope this helps…

    Jul 29, 2009 | 9:59 pm

  23. Lou says:

    @Bettyq (and sanojmd), I’ve a few recipes for Brazo but wouldn’t mind getting a new, tested one. I’m waiting for the heatwave and humidity to pass anyway, once it’s cooler I can think about baking again…

    Jul 29, 2009 | 11:12 pm

  24. Bubut says:

    MM, try planting those seeds at your garden in Cebu and for sure you will create a nice trelis plant of passion fruit.

    Jul 29, 2009 | 11:43 pm

  25. betty q. says:

    MM, yes, I have some misses too when I bake esp. recipes without detailed hints! But I always have angelfood cakes and sponges frozen so I can at least salvage the filling.

    I not a fan of pavlovas but am a fanof angelfood cakes. To turn this into a respectable off beat desset that no one will ever know I salvaged it, I tear the angelfood cake into large chunks, make a bavarian creme flavoured with Triple Sec or Cointreu, add the passion fruit compund or puree then pour into individual moulds or ramekins. Let it set in the cooler. People are amazed and wowed over it…it works! sayang the passionfruit and cream filling of the pavlovas. It aslso doesn’t take lomg to make the bavarian creme.

    It looks elegant on desset plate and served with a berry compote!

    Sorry for the typos,….can’t see clearly without GLASSES which I forgot to bring!

    Jul 30, 2009 | 1:46 am

  26. GJ says:

    Haha, 50 centavos each indeed. Pastries, a preference, yummy! Another answer to one of last Sunday’s curious thoughts. Thanks again MM.

    Jul 30, 2009 | 9:07 am

  27. mojito drinker says:

    pretty =)

    Jul 30, 2009 | 11:36 am

  28. tnm says:

    I used to make Pavlovas while living in NZ. I just bought the meringue base from the grocery, slapped on some whipped cream, topped it with fresh fruit and passionfruit sauce. All store bought.

    Jul 31, 2009 | 7:20 am

  29. joyce says:

    hmm im on the fence about pavlovas, would still prefer a chocolate dessert. however, your version looks yummy. i wonder how you manage to maintain your weight ;P

    Jul 31, 2009 | 3:44 pm

  30. Trin says:

    I’m a huge pavlova fan!! So I couldn’t help but chime in. :-) My all time favorite is the mango passionfruit one in people’s palace greenbelt. Try, try!

    Jul 31, 2009 | 9:53 pm

  31. Jill Mann says:

    I like the dessert. I do not get to eat it very often because it is not in my diet. I think everyone should at least have it once in their life.

    Oct 29, 2009 | 2:05 am

  32. Doris Pong says:

    MM,very nice to have a chance you log in your website. I am one of the members in SIFE China. I do have something concerning about the issues of passion fruits to consult you. And we do hope to get contact with you at your very convenience.

    P.S. Here is my MSN, gotchayuan@live.cn

    Mar 30, 2010 | 1:21 am


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