Brown sugar pavlovas with maple cream & maple marinated berries


This Mother’s Day, my mom requested I make a pavlova {a meringue filled with some sort of cream or curd} for dessert. “Meringues, really? I’ve never seen the big deal.” “But I love pavlovas, and it’s Mother’s day!”, she quipped. Since I aim to please, she got her pavlovas. And ohhhhh boy, did I see the big deal.

These are no ordinary meringues. No, definitely not. Not when they are brown sugar flavored. Or when they are filled with maple sour cream filling. Or when they are topped with maple marinated mixed berries. See, all of these components are fairly simple on their own, but when they come together they make the most decadent dessert. It’s like a creamy, crunchy, sweet cloud in your mouth. The combination of flavors {brown sugar and maple are a match made in heaven} and the difference of textures could not be more perfect. And seriously, how beautiful, elegant, and classy are they?! Make them, and make your mama happy!


Note: This recipe is supposed to make one three layer pavlova with the maple cream in between – kind of like a three layer cake – but I decided to make individual ones. If you want to make the layered version, simply split the meringue between three 8-inch cake pans instead of piping them. The baking time will be the same. Do what you please. Either way works just fine. I’m just obsessed with things that are mini and tiny.

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Maple Cream and Maple Marinated Berries

Makes 24 Pavlovas

adapted from:

For meringue:

  • 1 cup superfine granulated sugar (if you don’t have or can’t find superfine sugar, just pulse some granulated sugar in your food processor for a few seconds)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark, and it was great)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (from 5 to 6 large eggs) at room temperature 30 minutes

For berries:

  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed berries of your choosing, trimmed and diced
  • 2-4 (I used 4, but I’m also kind of excessive) tablespoons maple syrup

For cream:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chilled sour cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

Make meringue:

Preheat oven to 275°F with rack in middle. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. I like using Silipat non-stick sheets.

Pulse superfine sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a food processor until well combined.

Stir together vanilla and vinegar in a small bowl.

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase speed to medium-high and add sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more. Add vinegar mixture, then beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Fill a star tipped piping bag with meringue. Pipe meringues onto your baking sheets. Make sure to pipe a solid base, and then go up the sides to create a hollow center so you can fill it up with the cream.

Bake until meringues have a crisp crust and feel dry to the touch, about 1 hour (insides will still be marshmallow-like).

Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringues in oven 1 hour. (Meringues may sink slightly and crack while cooling.)

Macerate fruit while meringues cool: 

Toss berries with maple syrup and let stand at room temperature until ready to use (up to 1 hour).

Assemble dessert:

Beat heavy cream with sour cream and maple syrup using an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the maple cream into each meringue. Top with a spoonful of the marinated berries. Eat. Enjoy. Savor. Mmmmmmm.

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