The Sassy Pair

Thanksgiving’s hottest new dessert is the pumpkin pavlova. It’s got everything: crisp meringue crust, marshmallow center, pumpkin pie spices, tart cranberries. Never had a pavlova? Neither had I until last month when I went to Frances. There are so many textures happening and I knew I needed to transform a classic Thanksgiving dessert into the New Zealand treat.

The recipe might seem daunting with so many ingredients and steps, but fear not. There aren’t any crazy techniques or special equipment needed, unlike these chai spiced madeleines. I made these with both a stand mixer and a hand held mixer and they turned out perfect both times! Many of the components can be made in advance if you don’t want to tackle the entire recipe in one day, though, it’s really not that much work.

Egg White/Yolk Heavy Recipes

I had a huge carton of eggs from Costco that were getting to the point of no return. I did the float test (put an uncooked egg in water and if it floats then it’s gone bad, otherwise you can use it) before separating a dozen of them. The whites can be frozen as-is individually in an ice cube container before storing in a ziplock bag. They will last up to a year. Perfect when a meringue craving hits!

Egg yolks require a bit more attention but can still be frozen. Due to the protein structure of the yolk, it will gelatinize from the freezing and thawing process. To prevent this mix each egg yolk with a pinch of salt or around 1/3 tsp sugar before freezing like the egg whites. Here’s a great list of recipes to use up leftover egg yolks.


  • Meringues
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp corn starch

  • Cranberry Sauce
  • 6oz cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

  • Candied Pepitas
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp pepitas


  • Meringues
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Combine the granulated sugar with the spices.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer – or with a hand mixer – place the egg whites. Whip the whites on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low, add half the spiced sugar, beat for 30 seconds. Add the other half of the sugar. Beat on high until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy, about 3-5 minutes. Fold the corn starch into the meringue.
  • Spoon into six rough circles with a dip in the middle to hold the whipped cream. Place into the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 200°F. Bake until barely pale and meringue is no longer sticky to the touch, about 30-35 minutes. Turn off oven and leave in the oven to dry out.
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • While the meringues cook, prepare the cranberry sauce. Place the cranberries and sugar in a pot and cook over medium low heat until the cranberries have broken down, about 45 minutes.
  • Whipped Cream
  • Whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold in the pumpkin puree.
  • Candied Pepitas
  • Place the sugar and waste in a saucepan. Place over medium heat.
  • Allow the sugar to dissolve and begin boiling. The color will slowly turn light amber. Once the color changes, do not take your eyes off, as the caramel can burn easily. Once the caramel is a nice amber, remove from heat.
  • Add the pepitas and swirl the pan. Pour onto a piece of greased aluminum foil. Allow to cool. Break into small pieces.
  • Assemble
  • Place the meringue on the plate as your base. Dollop whipped cream onto the meringue. Spoon some of the cranberry sauce on top of that. Top with the candied pepitas. Serve immediately.


Yields six pavlova.

Meringues can be made up to three days in advance; stored in an airtight container. Cranberry sauce can be made up to four days in advance and refrigerated.

View more articles written by Vasili.

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