Blood Orange Ambrosia Pavlova

Photography by Matt Armendariz / Recipe Development and Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns

In the name of citrus season, this Blood Orange Ambrosia Pavlova by Marian Cooper Cairns gets piled high with peak season blood oranges. This Australian classic is slathered in rich coconut milk-infused pastry cream to play up the juicy bites of our favorite red citrus. Finished off with a sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes, this exclusive recipe share from our January/February 2019 issue will get you through the winter chills.

Blood Orange Ambrosia Pavlova
Makes 8 to 10 servings
  • 4 large egg whites (120 grams), room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract
  • 4 blood oranges (524 grams)
  • Coconut Milk Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup (63 grams) toasted large coconut flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 225°F (107°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and salt, beating until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together castor sugar and cornstarch. Add sugar mixture to egg white mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until glossy stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. (Do not overbeat.) Beat in vanilla. Gently spread mixture into a 9- to 10-inch oval on prepared pan, making an indentation in center of meringue.
  4. Bake until pale golden and outside has formed a crust, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off, and let meringue stand in oven with door closed for 12 hours.
  5. Cut away peel and pith from blood oranges; slice and section fruit.
  6. Place pavlova on a serving platter. Spoon chilled Coconut Milk Pastry Cream over pavlova. Arrange oranges over cream, and sprinkle with coconut. Serve immediately.
Castor sugar guarantees the sugar will dissolve when whipping your meringue, but traditional granulated sugar will work in a pinch, too.

If your pastry cream looks a little lumpy, don't fret! While it's still warm, pass it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any bits of cooked egg.

Coconut Milk Pastry Cream
Makes about 3 cups
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks (74 grams)
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can (405 grams) coconut milk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks, coconut milk, and milk until well combined. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, just until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour mixture into a medium bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of warm custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.


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