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Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Pavlova with Fresh Fruit
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Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Pavlova with Fresh Fruit

An alternative to a fresh cream pavlova. From scratch pavlova topped with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and piled high with blueberries, mango and cherries.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: New Zealand
Servings: 1 large pavlova
Author: Emma

Ingredients

For The Pavlova

  • 380 grams caster sugar superfine, (2 cups)
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste - vanilla extract will work here as well
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar lemon juice will work too

For The Topping

  • 55 grams unsalted butter - softened (1/4 cup)
  • 290 grams Icing sugar Confectioners sugar - sieved, (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 240 grams full fat cream cheese just softened (8 ounces)
  • Fresh fruit of your choice - I used blueberries mango and cherries.

Instructions

For the pavlova

  • Turn your oven on to 200C / 400F / Gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour your sugar on to it and pop it in your oven to warm up.
  • Add your egg whites to your stand-mixer bowl and slowly at first start to whisk them. Once bubbles start to appear then turn up the speed on your mixer until you have reached stiff peak stage and it is thick and shinny about 5 minutes.
  • Turn your oven off and retrieve your sugar, it should be nicely warm at this stage.
  • Pour half of it into your beaten egg whites and whisk for a minute or two until the mixture feels smooth between your fingers.
  • Add your vanilla bean paste, cornflour (cornstarch) and white wine vinegar / lemon juice, whisk for a few seconds and then add your remaining sugar and whisk for a further 5 to 7 minutes until you have a stiff shinny smooth mixture. You are looking to have all the sugar dissolved into your egg whites. Rub a little of it between your fingers it should feel smooth and not grainy. If it is a little grainy whisk for another minute or two.
  • While the meringue is whisking turn your oven back on to 150C / 300F / Gas mark 2.
  • Using a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, carefully pour your uncooked meringue into the centre of the baking sheet.
  • Using a rubber spatular or large pallet knife very gently spread it out in a circular motion so the pavlova is about the size of a dinner plate and about 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches thick. Also slightly dip it in the middle so the cream and fruit sit in the dip.
  • Pop it on the bottom shelf of your oven and leave it for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After this time check on it, it should be just off white and sound a little hollow if gently tapped and feel firm when touched. Another quick test is to try and lift the pavlova, it should easily come away from the parchment paper. If it doesn't then leave it for another 15 minutes and check again.
  • Once fully baked turn off the oven and leave the pavlova inside the oven for a further 30 minutes.
  • Once the time is up take it out of the oven and while it is fully cooling down make the frosting.

For the frosting

  • Beat your butter till it is very light and fluffy.
  • Add in the icing sugar and mix till very well combined. The icing will become very thick but this is fine.
  • Mix in the vanilla bean paste.
  • If you are using cream cheese bought in the UK it has a lot of water in it and it needs to be drained a little otherwise it will turn your frosting into a gloopy mess. Check out the link above on what to do.
  • Add in the cream cheese to the mixer and beat till it is well mixed in and smooth & creamy. About 2 minutes on a low to medium speed.
  • Spoon the vanilla cream cheese frosting into the centre of the cooled pavlova and gently spread it out to about an inch from the edge.
  • Wash, chop, peel, de-pip your fruit and place it onto the top of your pavlova. Pop in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.
  • Like most meringue based desserts if kept away from toppings and filling the meringue will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Once you have added toppings and filling its best eaten on that day.
  • But kept in the fridge in a container it will last for up to three days. But the meringue will soften more and more over time.