Brown-Sugar Peach Pavlova

brown-sugar peach pavlova recipe
Photo: Paola + Murray
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins

A perfectly ripe peach is a beautiful thing, but when poached and set atop a fluffy cloud of pavlova? They're simply stunning! The peach halves are cooked in water, lemon, sugar, and vanilla. They sit atop a bed of whipped cream over the meringue. Using brown sugar gives a a subtle caramel flavor to this pavlova.



  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature

  • ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste or extract

Poached Peaches

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste or extract

  • 3 peaches (1 pound), halved and pitted


  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  1. Pavlova: Preheat oven to 300°F with a rack in center. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using an overturned bowl or cake pan as a guide, trace an 8-inch circle on parchment; turn parchment marked-side down.

  2. Place egg whites, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed until well combined and no lumps of sugar remain. Increase speed to medium; beat until soft peaks form, about 9 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add granulated sugar. Continue beating until peaks are stiff and glossy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vinegar and vanilla.

  3. Secure marked parchment to baking sheet with a small dollop of meringue under each corner. Using a rubber spatula, spread remaining meringue onto marked 8-inch circle; form peaks around edge and a well in center. Bake until meringue is crisp around edges and just set in center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let cool inside 2 hours. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let stand until meringue is cool enough to handle. Carefully peel meringue off parchment and let cool completely on rack.

  4. Poached peaches: Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. In a saucepan, combine granulated sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and 2 1/4 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Add peaches (cut-sides up) and cover with a parchment round to keep them submerged. Reduce heat to low and simmer until peaches are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 8 to 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer peaches to a plate with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, peel, discarding skins. Bring poaching liquid to a boil; cook until thickened and reduced by half (you should have 1 cup), about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and chill in ice bath until cold.

  6. Topping: In a bowl, beat heavy cream with granulated sugar on medium speed until stiff peaks form. To assemble, carefully place meringue on a serving platter. Spoon whipped cream on top, spreading to edges; then add peaches, cut-sides down. Drizzle with syrup, slice into wedges, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Freestone peaches work best for slicing nice, clean halves. Use any extra poaching syrup to sweeten seltzer, iced tea, or cocktails.

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