Mini Pavlova nests with nectarines, pistachios and cream

These vibrant, refreshing, and indulgent mini pavlova nests are my go to flavour combination this summer! Less is more in this recipe, especially when using beautiful ripe stone fruit such as nectarines. I’ve kept it really simple so that there is a nice balance between the sweet chewy pavlova base and refreshing cloud like whipped cream, topped with juicy nectarines that are sliced super thinly so they melt in your mouth and are easy to eat, along with finely chopped pistachios. In partnership with Australian Summer Fruit and the incredible stone fruit produces i’ve created this recipe to celebrate our Australian nectarines! I’ve made individual pavlova nests because there’s just something really satisfying about picking one up easily and take a bite but of course if you feel like making one large individual pavlova base then you can do that instead. I will be making these all summer long for my friends and family and hope you enjoy this recipe and combination of flavours as much as I do!  

Recipe and serving tips

  • Use a very sharp knife and just ripe nectarines for this recipe so it’s easier to slice through the nectarines thinly. You can also refrigerate the nectarines for 1 hour prior to slicing and serving if the day is hot for a refreshing dessert.
  • Use very fresh eggs for the best meringue and always use a freshly cleaned mixer and whisk when making meringue.
  • Serve with some refreshing cold white wine or mint filled sangria.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes plus 1 hour cooling time

Makes 12 mini pavlova nests

Ingredients

5 x eggs

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of Himalayan salt or any other fine salt

a splash of white vinegar or lemon juice

6 x ripe nectarines

500ml pure cream

a handful of pistachios (shells already removed)

Method

  1. Clean an electric stand mixing bowl and the whisk attachment with some paper towel dipped in the white vinegar. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees without fan force (you will reduce the heat at a later stage).
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and store the egg yolks away in the fridge for separate use (make sure there are no remnants of any egg yolk in the egg whites).
  3. Place the egg whites along with the cream of tartar into the mixing bowl that is attached to the electric stand mixer. Start whisking on a medium speed until the mixture is slightly lighter, fluffy and has increased in size.
  4. Continue to mix on a medium speed and begin to add 1 tablespoon of the sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon. Add in the salt and vanilla paste. Increase the speed to a medium-high for 30 seconds then to a high speed for a few minutes. Turn the mixer off and check that the meringue is ready. It’s ready when it will be thick, shiny, slightly gloss and silky. Test it by checking that the peaks of the meringue are stiff and don’t ‘drop’. Check that the sugar has completely dissolved by rubbing a little bit of meringue between your fingers. If it’s still grainy then the sugar needs a big more whisking time.
  5. Line two baking trays with baking paper (add a bit of meringue between the paper and the tray so that it sticks to it and it will be easier to shape the nests). Divide the main mixture of meringue in half and place into a separate bowl. Scoop out 6 extra large heaped tablespoons of meringue mixture onto the lined baking tray with a bit of space between each nest and repeat with the second bowl onto the second lined baking tray. This amount of mixture will make 12 pavlova nests in total.
  6. Shape the meringue mixture using a spatula or spoon into round and approximately 2cm or so high shapes.
  7. Reduce the oven to 120 degrees and place the baking trays into the oven on two separate levels. Cook the pavlova at 120 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and without opening the oven door let the pavlova nests continue ‘cooking’ in the residual heat for 30 minutes. Then open the oven door slightly and keep it open with the nests inside until it comes to room temperature. Remove the mini pavlovas from the oven and place them on a board until ready to use.
  8. Chop the pistachios very finely into a crumb like consistency and set aside.
  9. Finely slice the nectarines – first slice the nectarine in half following the natural line of the fruit. Remove the stone. Place the flat surface of the nectarine on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife, slice the nectarine super thinly.
  10. 5 minutes before serving the mini pavlova nests whisk the cream with electric hand mixers until light and fluffy.
  11. Top each pavlova nest with the whipped cream, the thinly sliced nectarines (approximately half a nectarine per each pavlova nest) and sprinkle with plenty of the pistachio crumb.

Enjoy!

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