A pavlova combines a meringue’s crisp outer shell and chewy center with fruit and cream. It’s easy to love. It’s also a fun menu item for pastry chefs, since they can play with fillings and flavors while adhering to a popular texture profile.
Though its origins are contested (some claim Australia, some New Zealand, and some the U.S.), the dessert is on the rise internationally. “I think the pavlova has become popular due to its simplicity and versatility,” says Lauren Doggett, executive pastry chef of Stoic & Genuine in Denver. “It’s also a perfect way to make a gluten-free, dairy-free dessert, which is becoming a much more popular way to enjoy food these days.” From a berry-forward take to a Middle Eastern riff, here are four pavlovas to know.