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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Pavlova with Saffron Berries, Passionfruit + Pistachios {GF}

vegan, dairy‐free, egg‐free, gf, soy‐free
Meringue recipe adapted slightly from Pickles & Honey. An Australian Christmas classic made vegan using the magic of aquafaba (chickpea water). Crisp meringue embedded with pistachios, topped with pillowy vanilla whipped coconut cream, berries tossed with golden saffron sugar, crunchy‐tart passionfruit and an extra scattering of pistachios.
Servings 6



  • 1 cup vegan fine sugar I used fine raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • pinch fine grain sea salt
  • liquid from one 400g can of unsalted chickpeas chilled
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract*
  • 1/2 cup pistachios finely chopped (optional)

coconut cream

  • 2 tins chilled coconut milk/cream leave in the fridge overnight or longer if you can**
  • about 3–4 tbsp of raw granulated sugar add less to begin with then add more to taste towards the end of whipping
  • 1 –2 vanilla beans seeds scraped (or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste)

saffron berries

  • 700 g / about 5 cups prepared i.e. strawberries hulled and sliced, cherries pitted etc. mixed berries & cherries
  • 1/4 tsp / pinch saffron threads
  • 3 tbsp raw sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • crack or two of black pepper finely ground


  • pulp of about 5–6 passionfruit
  • 2 tbsp lightly toasted pistachios, chopped


make the meringue

  • Preheat the oven to 135 C / 275 F . Draw 4 10cm circles on 2 pieces of baking paper, flip the paper over and line 2 large baking trays with it. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, arrowroot starch and salt. Set aside.
  • Pour the chilled chickpea liquid (aquafaba) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the apple cider vinegar and beat at low speed, gradually increasing the speed to high. Beat for a few minutes, until the chickpea liquid is fluffy, quadrupled in size and has formed soft peaks. Turn the speed down to medium‐high and start adding the sugar sloooooowly, one tblsp. at a time, continuing until it has all been incorporated.
  • Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed back to high. Continue to beat until stiff, very glossy peaks form and hold their shape. To test if the meringue has been whisked for long enough, remove the bowl from the mixer and turn it upside down, the meringue should stay in place. If not, continue beating until it passes this test. Once it has been properly whisked, stop the mixer and add the vanilla extract, beat for another minute on high until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold through the chopped pistachios.
  • Quickly scoop the meringue into the center of the drawn circles on your prepared baking paper / baking trays. Using a spatula, spread the meringue around to fill the circle, piling it higher around the edge to form a kind of moat for when you add your fillings to the center later. You can use a spoon to create a larger nest in the center if needed (it does puff up quite a bit whilst baking, so create a bigger divet in the middle than you think).
  • Put the prepared meringues in the oven on the middle rack, and immediately turn the temperature down to 120 C / 250 F. Bake for 2 — 3 hours, or until the outside is dry to the touch and sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside to cool completely.

whip coconut cream

  • Scoop the thick, creamy part off the top of the chilled coconut milk / cream tins (save the watery bit for smoothies etc.) and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tbsp of the sugar and the vanilla bean seeds. Whisk together with a handheld electric whisk until the cream is fluffy and forms soft peaks. Taste the whipped cream now and add a little more sugar if desired until it is sweet enough for your liking. Continue to whip the cream a little longer until stiff peaks just begin to form.
  • Use straight away or keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to serve (I actually think it tastes better after it's been chilled for an hour or so, the flavour of the vanilla really shines through if you let it chill out for a bit!) — give it a little whisk to fluff it back up before serving.

mix berries

  • Bash together the saffron threads with the 3 tbsp. sugar in a mortar and pestle (or blitz together in a food processor) until the saffron threads are mostly broken up and mixed with the sugar. Stir in the lemon zest and the black pepper and rub into the sugar with your fingertips until combined and fragrant, it should be a golden yellow colour. Toss the saffron sugar with the mixed berries and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so before assembling.


  • Carefully remove the meringues from the baking paper and place on a serving plate (you can make 2 separate pavlovas or stack them with filling in between as I have done here). Top with the whipped cream, followed by the saffron berries (leaving most of the berry juice behind), then the passionfruit pulp and the pistachios. Serve immediately (this is not something that keeps well, it becomes soft and soggy rather quickly once topped with the cream and berries. So only assemble it at the very last minute!