It is Australia Day next week, which is our national holiday and one of my favourites. Firstly, it’s summer so we often celebrate with BBQ’s and beach picnics. I also get mighty patriotic about our favourite Aussie dishes which has led to creations like Lamington Ice Cream Pops and the Lamington Pavlova, among others. I love putting my own spin on these classics.
It was one of my unofficial resolutions this year to entertain more. We have a wonderful apartment that feels best with a group of people in it, and of course I love to cook for my friends! I hosted a fabulous girly lunch last weekend and instead of making a big dessert to share or fussy individual desserts, I decided to try something a little different – a DIY Pavlova Bar. I think it would be perfect if you’re hosting an Australia Day get together for a group.
It’s actually super simple to set up. You can use your favourite seasonal fruits and toppings like edible flowers and chopped up chocolate bars. I even used store-bought mini pavlova shells and meringues to make it a little easier on myself – I was cooking lunch for 8 after all. And then all that’s left to do is make a batch of my simple lemon curd and lightly whip some cream. Or if you prefer, you can make a caramel or chocolate sauce instead.
To style the table, I went for an assortment of different bowls and vessels from my prop collection for a fun mismatched vibe. Sundae glasses held edible flowers and berries were served in ceramic punnets. I also liked to play with height using wooden boxes and cake stands to elevate different ingredients. Multi-coloured plates, vintage cutlery and a few small vases with wildflowers helped complete the look.
The DIY Pavlova Bar was an enormous success and the girls had a great time customising their own mini pavlova with all the trimmings to their liking. My absolute favourite part was seeing everyone’s unique creations and of course, spending time catching up with these amazing ladies. Perhaps it will become an annual Australia Day tradition? Below I have listed all the things I used for my Pavlova Bar setup but feel free to change it up to your favourite fruit and toppings!
Related: Pavlova Ice Cream Smash
DIY Pavlova Bar
- Store bought pavlova shells and mini meringues
- 2 cups cream, whipped to soft peaks
- Kiwi fruit, sliced
- Peaches, sliced
- Passionfruit, halved
- Edible flowers
- Mini Bounty bars, chopped
- Turkish Delight bars, chopped
- 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 165g caster sugar
- 80g chilled butter
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
To make the lemon curd, whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.