These Mini Fresh Peach Pavlovas with Fuzzy Navel Syrup are the perfect vehicle for one of our favorite summertime fruits! Crispy, chewy, sweet + juicy — they tick all the boxes!
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Fresh Peaches Atop Mini Pavlovas Drizzled with Fuzzy Navel Syrup
Meringue is a wonderfully versatile creature. Turn it into buttercream, top pies, bake them into cookies, fold them into fillings…or, make pavlova! They are light and airy, crispy on the outside, chewy when you bite into them and perfect for piling on any ripe, juicy fruit.
With peaches in season, I just had to use fresh slices as they are just right for snacking. Tossed with berries and a little fuzzy navel syrup, you get peak ripe fruit with a little tartness for wonderfully balanced bites!
What is a pavlova? It’s a dessert named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. It’s a meringue base, typically topped with whipped cream and fruit. This recipe makes individual pavlovas, but they are also made as a large dessert that is sliced for serving.
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Step-by-Step Method for Making Fresh Peach Pavlovas
It’s best to plan ahead when making this dessert as it takes a bit of time to bake the meringues. But, the bonus is that all the components can be prepped ahead and assembled easily just before serving.
Step 1: Meringues
You can totally freehand your meringues, or use a small bowl or ring mold to trace circles on a piece of parchment with a pencil. Flip the parchment over (don’t want graphite in your meringue) and use it as a guide. This is especially handy if you stink at circles or are a stickler for coloring within the lines. 😂
Meringue is a concoction of whipped egg whites and sugar. We’re also adding a tiny bit of cream of tartar to stabilize and help with volume. Vanilla extract enhances the flavor — you can leave this out if you want brighter white meringues, or use a clear vanilla flavoring. Up to you.
The egg whites and cream of tartar start the party in a grease-free bowl. This is important because any fat residue is the enemy of meringue. Whip these together until the egg whites get good and foamy, then increase the speed of the mixer and add sugar slowly, one tablespoon at a time. Mix until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks.
Now you’re going to make meringue discs using those circles you traced. You can dollop the meringue out with a spoon or use a piping bag. If you pipe the meringue, be very gentle and don’t overfill your bag — the goal is to keep as much air in the meringue as possible. I prefer my meringues to have an organic feel, so even if I pipe it, I’ll take a spoon to smooth the surface while also creating some peaks and valleys.
These bake in a preheated 225°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Don’t open the oven until you reach the 50 minute mark! You can check them at that point to see if they are done (light + airy, crisp on the outside). When baking is complete, turn the oven off but leave the meringues in to cool slowly for another hour. Then they can cool completely on the counter.
Step 2: Fuzzy Navel Syrup
While the meringues are baking, make the syrup. There’s no alcohol in this, but it does have that lovely sweet-tart flavor of an old school fuzzy navel!
This is so easy — combine diced peaches, water, OJ and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let it cool just a bit, then extract the syrup using a fine mesh strainer. You can use a spoon to press the peaches against the strainer and coax out all that peachy flavor.
Return the syrup to the saucepan and simmer for another 5 minutes or so to reduce and concentrate the liquid. Set it aside to cool completely.
Step 3: Whipped Cream
Hey…if you want to use store bought whipped cream, go for it, but this is really easy, too. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar together until you get stiff peaks and a smooth texture. You can whip a little less if you like your whipped cream on the looser side. This is not a really sweet whipped cream, so you can increase the amount of powdered sugar if you like. Between the syrup, the meringues and the fruit — I think this lightly sweetened cream is a good balance.
Step 4: Assemble the Pavlovas
Toss sliced peaches, berries and a tablespoon or two of syrup together in a bowl. Only use as much fruit as you intend to eat right now because leftover fruit in syrup will get soggy. I think this dessert it best when the fruit is firm and fresh.
Dollop a bit of whipped cream on a meringue then top with fruit. You can drizzle some extra syrup over the top if you’re feeling it. Enjoy immediately!
Tips for Mini Fresh Peach Pavlovas
Eggs separate more easily when cold, so do that step ahead. Leave the egg whites on the counter for about an hour to take the chill off.
• You can freeze individual yolks in an ice tray, then store in an air tight container in the freezer. Defrost only what you need for other recipes.
• Use the yolks to make lemon curd. Hey…that would super yummy on meringues, too!
• Make Homemade French Mayonnaise for sandwiches, salads + eggs.
I know, right? I cut peaches and other stone fruit totally wrong for so. many. years. Instead of cutting the fruit from stem to bottom, cut it along its equator. A little wiggle and it comes off the pit so much easier!
Trace amounts of grease (aka fat), can prevent your egg whites from whipping up properly. Plastic bowls are porous and can trap grease and other flavors, so it’s not an ideal material to use here.
• If you’re not serving all your meringues at once, store them in an air tight container at room temperature. They’ll be good for 2 weeks.
• Extra whipped cream can be stored covered, in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
• For the best tasting (and looking) pavlovas, only cut and use as much fruit as you intend to eat at one sitting. The syrup can be covered and stored in the fridge for about 5 days.
Fuzzy navel iced tea, anyone?
More Fruity Dessert Recipes…
- Red, White + Blueberry Whole Fruit Popsicles
- Raspberry Java Brownie Sundae
- Mini No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes
- Mango Lime Popsicles with Kiwi
Mini Fresh Peach Pavlovas with Fuzzy Navel Syrup
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (feel free to omit for brighter white meringues)
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
Fuzzy Navel Syrup
- 1 large peach diced
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 large peaches cut into wedges
- ½ cup blueberries or raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 225°F.
- Using a ring mold or small bowl, about 3 to 3.5" in diameter, trace 10 circles on a piece of parchment (a pencil is good for this). Flip the parchment over, pencil side down, on a sheet pan and set aside.
Make the Meringues
- Place egg whites, vanilla extract and cream of tartar in a grease-free stainless steel or glass bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer). Using the whisk attachment, beat on low until the egg whites begin to foam, then increase speed to medium-high. Continue beating while adding sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Beat another minute or so until the meringue has achieved stiff peaks and is glossy.
- Dollop or pipe the meringue onto your parchment, using the drawn circles as a guide. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn the oven off, but leave the meringues in for another hour to gradually cool. After the hour, remove them to the counter to cool completely.
- The meringues should be crispy on the outside and light-weight. They should have no browning, but ovens vary and they may appear off-white. They should peel easily away from the parchment.
Make the Fuzzy Navel Syrup
- While the meringues are baking, place the diced peach, water, orange juice and sugar into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain the solids from the syrup using a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon or spatula to press all the liquid from the peach mixture. Return the liquid only to the saucepan and simmer another 5 minutes until it reduces by about 1/4. You should end up with about 3/4 cup, give or take. Set aside to cool.
Make Whipped Cream
- When you are ready to serve, whip cold cream and powdered sugar together until you achieve stiff peaks, but smooth texture. Be careful not to over whip which results in a clumpy, butter-like texture.
- In a bowl, toss peach wedges and blueberries together with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the syrup.
- Dollop some whipped cream on top of a meringue then top with some peaches + berries. Drizzle a little more syrup over the top, if desired.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only.