Mum’s Pavlova

I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times and it always works. I think it’s the little things that Rosemary taught me: make sure the egg whites are at room temperature, make sure your mixing bowl is small and super clean, no oil residues.

It was generally a summer or christmas dessert, but occasionally she would whip it out in winter for a change from puddings. It reminds me of days waterskiing on salt lakes, and hunkering down in the house in the midday heat, watching the dust swirls (willy willys) and the shimmering mirages in the distant paddocks.

Photo by Deborah Rainford on Unsplash


  • 2 x egg whites (room temperature)
  • 2 and a half cups of castor sugar (Rose always used heaped cups)
  • 1 x teaspoon of vinegar
  • 1 x teaspoon of cornflour
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 4 x tablespoons of boiling water
  • Cut fruit to taste


  • Using a small bowl, add ingredients in the order shown above
  • Beat with mixer for 7-10 mins until sugar is dissolved
  • Spread on an oiled tray
  • Make sure the top is flat
  • Cook for 10 mins in a hot oven (350 degrees)
  • Then cook for 1 and a half hours in a slow oven (200 degrees)
  • Don’t open the oven during cooking
  • Allow to cool with oven off and door open to stop it cracking
  • When fully cooled, decorate with whipped cream and fruit of your choice
  • Edible flowers make a nice touch

*I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her use baking paper as well, if you don’t want to oil the pan.

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 mins plus cooling time

Servings: 4 – 6

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