By Lauren Cowie
12 December 2023

Karen Martini’s perfect pavlova

Nothing says Australian Christmas like a pavlova covered in summer fruits.

Serves: 8



240gm egg whites, at room temperature

420gm icing sugar, well sifted, or blitzed in a food processor

4 ½ tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

1 ½ tsp cream of tartar

1 tbsp white vinegar

Whipped cream to fill pavlova

350ml thickened (whipping) cream, chilled

3 tbsp pure cream

1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

1 ½ tsp natural vanilla extract or paste

Grilled pineapple with pink peppercorns

1 pineapple

4 tbsp pink peppercorns

3 limes

200gm brown sugar

1 tsp flaked salt

For Serving

120gm lemon curd

2 punnets raspberries

Lime zest and pink peppercorns



Preheat the oven to 110ºC fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

For grilled pineapple
Using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind 3 tbsp pink peppercorns with 200gm soft brown sugar and 1 tsp salt flakes and tip into a large tray. Drizzle the juice of two limes over the peppercorns. Peel and core a ripe pineapple, cut into 12 wedges around the core lengthways, then toss through the sugar mixture. Grill or roast at 240ºC on a baking tray lined with baking paper for approximately six minutes, until the pineapple is starting to caramelise but not cooked through totally. Set aside to cool on the tray and it will finish cooking.

For pavlova
Using an electric stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on high until soft peaks form, about three minutes. Add the icing sugar in three additions and keep beating until glossy and stiff, about five minutes. It is ready when it holds its form. Gently fold in the cornflour, cream of tartar, and vinegar until incorporated. Tip the meringue onto the baking tray in a 28cm round, then gently smooth into a dome, but don’t flatten the top. Bake for 90 minutes, then turn the oven off, leave the door ajar, and cool completely in the oven.

For whipped cream
Chill the bowl of an electric stand mixer before whisking all the ingredients together on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about two minutes. Watch carefully and don’t over whip. Chill until needed.

To assemble
Gently crack the top of the meringue to make a crater, spoon on the whipped cream, then add about 3 tbsp of lemon curd in dollops. Slot in the cooled, grilled peppered pineapple and garnish with fresh raspberries. Grate on some lime zest and more lightly ground skins of the pink peppercorns to finish. Serve immediately.