The Real Reason Your Pavlova Is Sticky

Pavlova is a popular dish in the southern hemisphere with a wide variety of fans in New Zealand and Australia. A standard pavlova consists of a meringue base that's crunchy on the outside and light and pillowy on the inside and is then topped with cream and fruit. If the meringue doesn't work, the whole dessert is ruined. Fortunately, we have some tricks to help you avoid a sticky pavlova. 

The website of chef Nigella Lawson explains that a sticky pavlova is caused by excess moisture (via Nigella). If you're in a hot and humid climate this is going to be really difficult to avoid. Make sure you are using the correct type of sugar (caster sugar) and that you've added a pinch of cream of tartar. You'll want to make sure you've avoided all egg yolks too as this can be trickier than a standard meringue recipe. If all else fails, you may need to "hack" your pavlova to get a solid base for your fruit and cream. It's a step away from authentic, but an Italian-style meringue may be a little more stable. It won't add that exterior crunchiness you are craving but it will most likely taste delicious. 

Instead, try adding some delicious southern flavors to your new hybrid.

Fresh fejioas, a New Zealand fruit topping

New Zealand and Australia have been rivals for years (just ask Flight of the Conchords), and pavlova is no exception to this ongoing "battle" (via If you'd like to try a distinctly New Zealand flavor with your pavlova, you should try to add sliced feijoas to your fruit topping. A feijoa is a distinctively green New Zealand fruit that is kind of like a cross between a kiwi fruit and a fig with a side of guava in there somewhere. 

The small green fruits are eaten like kiwis, and according to the company Pole to Pole, "Many liken them to guavas or quince, but their complex flavor also brings to mind strawberries and pineapple, with a pear-like gritty texture, and a hint of mint" (via The Guardian). From experience, we can tell you the result is delicious and distinct. Check out how others have created a feijoa pavlova or go ahead and create your own (via New World). Just remember that while you can switch out the fruit of the pavlova, you shouldn't substitute any of the individual ingredients if you're going for the traditional recipe.