Aunty Pat’s never-fail pavlova

Having just outed myself as a pavlova-denier, I should probably head into witness protection for a while. To prove that I’m not a complete monster, here’s my wonderful Aunty Pat’s peerless recipe. It’s unbeatable!

Aunty’s Pat’s never-fail pavlova

At the risk of offending everyone else I know, no one makes a pavlova quite like Aunty Pat’s. She’s got no time for fussy recipes with fancy ingredients or complicated instructions – her pavlova (which may have originally sprung from a Plunket cookbook) is a ‘bung it all in the bowl and beat like hell’ number (my words, not hers). 

3 egg whites

2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp vinegar

Pinch of salt

3 Tbsp boiling water

Heat the oven to 160C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

Put all the ingredients, except the boiling water, in a bowl. Start beating, then add the boiling water. Beat on high for 15 minutes, then scrape the mixture onto the baking paper in a rounded shape. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to 100C and bake for another hour. Turn off the oven and let cool as long as possible (Aunty Pat suggests leaving it in overnight). Serve topped with whipped cream and seasonal fruit.


  1. December 14, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    Now that’s a great classic in a no-nonsense and unimpeachable form. When I read it I think how much I really like pavlova. Then I remember that I haven’t made one for 20 years or so. Maybe I don’t like it as much as I think I do. That thought might give me sleepless nights.

  2. December 31, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    Lucy, it’s funny, Phil’s comment might have been written by me! I think I’ll have to make one soon just to see if I really do like it as much as I think I do despite my years of going without!

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