Gastronomy: Pavlova


4 egg whites
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon DYC white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon Edmonds Fielder’s cornflour


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and sugar for 10 minutes or until thick and glossy.
  3. Mix vinegar, vanilla and cornflour together. Add to meringue. Beat on high speed for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Draw a 22 cm circle on the baking paper. Spread the pavlova mixture to within 2 cm of the edge of the circle, keeping the shape as round and even as possible. Smooth top surface over.
  5. Place pavlova in oven then turn oven temperature down to 100°C. Bake pavlova for 1 hour. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly and leave pavlova in oven until cold.
  6. Carefully lift pavlova onto a serving plate. Decorate with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Serves: 6
Source: Edmonds Cookery Book, 1992


The first pavlova of the season (Christmas Day) was made with plain sugar and malt vinegar because that was what we had in the house and it turned out just fine.
Mr O also only preheated the oven to 100°C from the start and left the oven door closed overnight after the obligatory 1 hour of baking.
As for toppings… that is completely up to your imagination. Kiwifruit is very popular, but my personal favourite is fresh strawberries. Yum !

We have also decided that pavlova goes particularly well with trifle. It is environmentally friendly with no wasting of egg yolks if you make your own custard for the trifle. It may be waistline unfriendly, however. But it is Christmas and the calories don’t count at this time of year – everyone knows that. 😉


For those of you who are unfamiliar with the wonderful New Zealand icon that is the Edmonds Cookery Book, here is a little bit of history from The Bookshelf a website that is dedicated to selling cookery books.

“It all started in Lyttelton, last century, when 20-year-old Thomas J. Edmonds developed his own baking powder in response to the need of dissatisfied customers who came into his grocery store complaining about the unreliability of the baking powder then available. In 1879 he sold his first batch of 200 tins, telling his customers that their baking was ‘sure to rise’, and before long the housewives of Canterbury were clamouring for more of the tins bearing his distinctive rising sun with cakes trademark. The rest of New Zealand soon followed suit and in 1907 the first edition of the Edmonds Cookery Book, with its 50 pages of ‘economical everyday recipes and cooking hints’, made its appearance. Every couple who announced their engagement looked forward to receiving their free copy – a practice which lasted for some years.

Sales of the baking powder continued to rise in spite of competition from some fierce contenders for the business and, by 1915, sales were equivalent to six and a half tins for every family in the country. Seven years later Thomas Edmonds opened his factory, which was to become a Christchurch landmark for nearly 70 years.

During the Depression it became the first factory to introduce a 40-hour, five day week and this forward thinking ensured that none of the workers, many of whom had been with the firm for an impressive number of years, had to suffer redundancy. And the city of Christchurch also gained from this remarkable man’s generosity when he erected a band rotunda (now a restaurant) and a clock tower to celebrate his firm’s 50th anniversary in 1929. This was followed by the creation of a park behind the factory which later became city property.

As Edmonds increased its range of products the success of the cookery book grew and more than three million copies have now been sold – making it not only a bestseller among cookbooks but the biggest-selling book ever published in New Zealand. In 1989 a companion volume, the Edmonds Microwave Cookery Book, was published and there is no doubt that the Edmonds cookery books will continue to stay New Zealand’s most popular cookbooks for many years to come.”

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