Mini Pavlovas with Nectarine and Burnt Sugar Shards

Justine Drake, Nectarines

  • Makes 8 mini Pavlovas
  • If you prefer you can make one large meringue nest instead.



  • 4 eggs

  • Pinch of cream of tartar

  • 1 cup (200g) castor sugar

  • ½ Tbsp (7ml) vanilla essence 


  • 4-6 nectarines
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp (15-30mlorange liqueur, optional
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cream, whipped
  • Burnt sugar shards



  1. For meringue, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar to medium-stiff peaks.

  2. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time every few minutes – sugar should dissolve completely before next addition.

  3. Whisk until all sugar is added and meringue is smooth, thick and glossy.

  4. Place large dollops of meringue mixture onto a lined baking tray taking care to allow enough space between each one.

  5. Using the back of a teaspoon, create a well in the middle of each to create a nest.

  6. Bake at 100°C for about 1 hour.

  7. Cool completely in the oven before removing.


  1. Thinly slice nectarines and macerate in orange juice and liqueur for no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. Spoon cream into meringue nests and arrange nectarines on top. Decorate the sugar shards and mint leaves if you like.


Burnt Sugar Shards

  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¾ cup sugar


  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place water and sugar into a heavy based pot.
  3. Cook over a medium heat to dissolve sugar – don’t stir it as crystals will form.
  4. Once sugar starts to dissolve, increase heat and cook until dark brown.
  5. Pour caramel onto a baking sheet in a thin, even layer. If you like to can scatter a few chopped nuts or seeds onto the caramel.
  6. Cool and chop or break into shards.
  7. Store in an airtight container until needed.
  8. Don’t refrigerate it or will become tacky.