Raspberry Pistachio Mini Pavlovas

The first time I came across a pavlova was when I used to bake for a team of account people in my advertising agency days. It was my teammate's birthday and she was Australian so said her favorite dessert was the pavlova. Upon researching what a pavlova is, I learned that they are these amazingly delicious AND gluten free desserts that are egg white meringues topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I feel in love with them because they're pretty easy to play with once you get the ratios down for add-ins and then the toppings are endless! 

I love making really big ones for dinner parties or group occasions. You can also make mini/individual sized ones depending on how many people you're feeding or save the pavlova base and enjoy over 3-4 days! 

The only catch is once you assemble these desserts, they're quite delicate so will need to eat it right away. This won't be hard since once you take one bite, it will be difficult to resist. The incredible part about eating these desserts is they actually make you feel LIGHTER. It doesn't get better than that! 

For this recipe I went with pistachio and pomegranates because I love the colorfulness of this combo. It's so perfect for the holidays and delicious together!  You will need a mixer for this recipe and patience. These meringues bake off on a low temperature for about an hour, sometimes longer depending on your oven. You also don't want to make these in big batches unless your oven and mixer can withstand the capacity. 

Raspberry Pistachio Mini Pavlovas
Yields 5-6 individual 3.5" pavlovas. 

Pavlova Ingredients: 

  • 90g egg whites, room temp 
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 150g white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups raw, unsalted pistachios (the greener the better) 
  • 25g white chocolate, chopped 

Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups whipping cream 
  • 1/4 cup créme fraché (optional)  
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted


  • Fresh seeds 1 large pomegranate 
  • Extra finely ground pistachios 
  • Honey 

Pavlova Base: 

1. Preheat oven to 355 F. On a piece of parchment paper, trace 3 or 3.5 inch circles spaced at least 2 inches apart with a pencil. Should be able to fit 4-5 of them comfortably on each baking sheet. I like to use cookie cutters or a smaller biscuit cutter as a stencil. Feel free to make them smaller if desired but limit to 2 sheets in the oven. 

2. Chop white chocolate into small pieces and set aside. Make sure they’re small enough to fit through your piping tip. Add your pistachio nuts into a food processor and process until fine. Careful not to go too far with the nuts as you do not want pistachio paste. Set aside chocolate and ground pistachio. 

3. Place room temp egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment. Whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated and continue to beat until the egg whites become stiff and glossy. Don’t over beat the egg whites or they will separate. When you can hold the mixture upside down without it falling out, it’s done.

4. Add white wine vinegar, cornstarch, chopped white chocolate and ground pistachio. Using a large spatula, fold in ingredients very slowly and carefully. Don’t over mix or you will deflate the egg whites.

5. Using a little pavlova mixture, apply on the corners of the parchment paper (same side you drew on, then flip over parchment paper so it’s pencil side down on a baking sheet.

6. Add mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. Pipe into the circles and clean it up with an offset spatula. Make sure you are FILLING them completely when swirling. Don't want any air gaps in any of the shells. 

7.  Place piped pavlovas into oven on the middle racks, then immediate drop the temperature to 285F. Bake for 1hr to 1hr to 1hr 15 minutes until the outside of the shells are firm/dry. The way to tell when the Pavlova is done cooking is when it looks crisp at the edges. The tops will be dry but if you press on the underside it’ll give a little since the centers are still soft and squishy. If you tap them lightly they should also sound a little hollow.

8. Place the pavlova back in the oven and leave the door slightly ajar so the pavlovas can cool slowly to room temp in the oven. (Should take another 35 minutes) If you remove from a hot oven you run the risk of your shells deflating. Shells last up to 4 days in an air-tight container. 

9. When ready to eat, prepare your whipped cream. Add heavy cream, créme fraché, vanilla extract and sifted powder sugar into a chilled mixer bowl. If you're not using créme fraché, you'll still have lovely whipped cream but it's not as shelf stable in my opinion. 

10. Using a whisk attachment, whip on medium until you reach a soft peak. I like to mix the rest of my whipped cream by hand with a hand whisk so I can control the exact stiffness of the cream. You want a soft billowing whip but still firm enough to old it's shape and toppings without weeping. 

11. Top fully cooled pavlova base with a hefty dollop of vanilla whipped cream. Sprinkle on fresh pomegranate seeds, pistachio grounds and a touch of honey on each pavlova to your liking. Serve and consume immediately upon assembling. 



Raspberry Almond Tart

The last time I made a frangipane tart was on The Great American Baking show so it was quite nice to not have the stress of the tent on my shoulders baking these today. One thing is for sure, I really need to make more frangipane desserts because this stuff is DELICIOUS! It's such a great balance between nutty, flaky crust and since I topped it with fresh fruit there's a brightness each bite that it brings light into my day. I think the orange zest is what really makes this recipe! ;)

This recipe can be adapted so many ways with different fruit and toppings. I went fresh fruit because this is for the ultimate berry lover. I also couldn't resist these gooorgeous raspberries at the Santa Monica's Farmer's Market this week. I mean, come on. They don't get more picture perfect than this. 

These are relatively easy to make but it's just more about the chilling time. I've also seen many recipes using frangipane with either blind baking the crust first or baking the crust and frangipane together at the same time. This time I used the blind bake method but next time I'll try it all together and see how I like the difference. On the smaller tartlets the crusts brown crazy fast so that's something to keep in mind while the larger one seemed to be OK. 

For garnishes, on the larger tart I wanted to go more sophisticated than I typically make my desserts so I tempered chocolate to make chocolate spirals and used some gold leaf to give it that extra pizzaz. Or you can go simple and top with fresh raspberries after the tartlets have cooled to room temp. 

True be told, I friggin' love this combo of flaky crust with the almond filling. The sliced almonds also give it a little more texture when biting into the bottom. I love all the textures of this recipe because you get juicy, crumbly, buttery and crunch! And, if you add on the meringue,  it's even better because it that adds an extra soft texture and vanilla flavor. All in all, a great tartlet for birthdays, dinners or just cause. ;) 

Raspberry Almond Tartlet w/ Vanilla Italian Meringue
Makes 1 x 8" square tartlet and 3-4 smaller individual tartlets. 


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 large pinches kosher salt 
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, small pieces 
  • 1 jumbo egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water 


  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp  
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 large eggs, room temp 
  • 1 cup almond flour, finely ground  
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest ( I like naval or cara cara oranges) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, blanched or skin on 


  • 2 punnets fresh raspberries 
  • 1 batch Italian meringue (optional) 
  • Chocolate shavings or decorations 

1. Start by baking the dough. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt and butter. Work through the dough with your hands by pinching the pieces of butter with the flour mixture. Keep pinching and incorporating until the dough is a rough sandy mixture. This is not your traditional pie crust where you have to keep the butter crazy cold. Once the butter is well incorporated and most of the pieces have been smashed into the flour, add the egg yolk/water mixture. Knead together in the bowl till it becomes a round smooth ball. Add a teaspoon of water if it's not coming together. Flip dough on floured surface and form into a round disc.

2. Next roll out the dough to a large circle at least 2 inches wider than the size of your pan.  If the dough is too soft to handle, wrap with plastic wrap and put into the fridge. Mine was fine but I just had to make sure to keep flouring my surface I was rolling on and my rolling pin.  Lay the dough on your fluted 8" tart pan with a removable bottom and press it into the creases. Use any remaining dough to fix any holes. Place the pan/dough into the freezer for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Take the tart out of the freezer and dock the dough all over with a fork. Blind bake the crust in the oven for 13-15 minutes until it's lightly browned. This recipe does not require you to use pie weights or cover. Note, my crust did shrink a bit in the pan so know that in advance going on. Watch the crust carefully towards the end to ensure you don't over brown it. 

4. Next, make the filling. In a stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, add sugar, butter and salt and cream together for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and continue to beat together for another 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer off.  Add in almond flour, flour, orange zest and almond extract then mix on low until incorporated. The mixture should be thick. 

5. Remove tart crust from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan. Add in the almond filling and smooth it evenly in the tart pan. Work quickly because it will start melting the mixture. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the almond slices. Quickly place the tart back into the oven. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake until golden, around 25-30 minutes. If you insert a toothpick it should come out clean or press it lightly with your fingers and it should resist. 

6. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Be very careful to remove the tart from the pan by taking off the outer rim first then the bottom. Allow to come to room temp on a rack before decorating. 

7. Feel free to garnish with raspberries and chocolate shavings. If you want to make Italian Meringue, see below. 

Italian Meringue Recipe: 
Makes about 2 cups. Recipe from Serious Eats


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 room temp egg whites, fresh eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • pinch of salt 

1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, brushing down sides of pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer.

2. Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; alternatively, wipe the mixer bowl with cut side of 1/2 lemon before adding egg whites (and omit cream of tartar or lemon juice). Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form (when lifted, the head of the mixer should form gentle peaks in the egg whites that very slowly collapse back into themselves), about 2 minutes.

3. With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to medium high and whip until you reach stiff peaks. When your meringue is almost done, add in vanilla extract and salt. Do NOT over mix or your eggs will separate. If you must, stop and check as you go. Total time may be about 3-6 minutes.  


Fresh Fruit Tarts

Photography by Ryan Feng

One of my go-to desserts I love to make is a fresh fruit tart! These are so versatile for lunch, dinner parties, birthdays and just about any gathering of people. People usually don't feel so guilty eating it since there is fresh fruit involved. Me included. Haha. 

I had so much fun shooting these photos with my good friend, Ryan Feng, who is a super talented photographer as you can see. He came over and watched me bake. In turn, I fed him left over sweets. It's a pretty good bargain if you ask me. ;) 

This fruit tart recipe is simple and just requires a few different components. Luckily you can make all these these in advance and then just assemble as soon as you're ready to eat. 

The crust is a slightly sweet shortbread type of crust so super crumbly and pairs perfectly with the light vanilla bean pastry cream. Then you pile on whatever berries or fruit till your heart's content. I love strawberries and blueberries but have also gone full raspberry on this baby. Pick berries that are in season or if you're like me which ever are calling to you at your local farmer's market. 

The powdered sugar is totally optional. If you're serving this immediately upon assembling, then feel free to dust away. If not, opt for the apricot jam coating to seal in the juices of the berries and especially if you laid cut strawberries. 

Voila! You have a very impressive dessert all done to feed your friends and family. :) 

Fresh Fruit Tart w/ Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
Makes 1 x 12 inch tart or 12 mini 1 inch tartlets

Shortbread Pastry Crust: 

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream: (Recipe from Tartine Bakery) 

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, cut open down the middle, seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes


  • A few containers of strawberries, raspberries and blue berries 
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

Make the Pastry Crust: 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease your tart pan with butter or with baking release spray. 

2. In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. Remove and place on a lightly floured surface.  With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Make sure to pat until the crust is even and thin as you can make it without the dough breaking. 

3. Place pan into the freezer for 20 minutes to chill. Meanwhile, prepare a large piece of parchment paper by crumpling it up and then opening it back up again. Spray one side with baking oil. That will be the side that faces down on the crust.

4. Remove the pan/dough from the freezer and poke holes with a fork throughout the bottom of the crust and especially in the corners. The same way you would do so when you're blind baking a pie crust. Add parchment paper spray side down on the crust then add in your pie weights on top of the paper. 

5. Bake chilled pastry in heated oven for 20 minutes until the edges of the crust are lightly browned. Take the pan out of the oven and remove weights. Return back to the oven uncovered and bake for another 15 minutes or so depending on how long it will take for the bottom and edges of the pastry to be browned. 

6. If the pastry dough is puffing up too high since there aren't any weights anymore, quickly open the oven and give the crust in the puffy parts a little jab with a fork. This will help release some of the hair that's trapped in the dough. 

7. Once the dough is finished, remove from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove the pastry crust from the pan and place on a wire rack to complete cooling. 

(Alternatively, you may also make 12 mini tartlets with this recipe. Fill each cup with the right amount of pastry dough and crumple up small pieces of foil covered in baking spray to keep from the crust over filling in the oven. Baking time will vary since you're making smaller crusts vs one large one.) 

Make the Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Filling: 

1. In a small saucepan, add milk, vanilla bean seeds and salt and carefully scaled over medium heat. Have a whisk handy to stir the mixture. Milk can easily burn on the the bottom of a hot pan. Watch it carefully or you'll have to start over. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and eggs until smooth. Remember for a thicker cream, add 4 tablespoons of corn starch. For thinner cream only add 3 tablespoons. 

3. When the milk is done heating, slowly add 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg and whisk constantly to temper them. Add the 1/2 milk mixture back to the pot and return to a saucepan. Cook the mixture on a medium heat until you get your desired consistently, make sure to always be whisking. You'll want to see a couple of slow boil bubble pop up and the cream should be nice and thick. 

4. Remove from heat and pour into a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let mixture cool for 2-3 minutes and then with a spatula, incorporate the butter, one tablespoon at a time until smooth . The key is to properly introduce the liquid butter fat into the rest of the cream slowly. 

5. Transfer pastry cream into a medium bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap directly touching the cream. Let the rest cool completely in the refrigerator and set for at least 1-2 hours before using. 


1. I do not recommend making this more than 24 hours before eating. These are best when they're fresh if you ask me. Place your pastry tart crust directly on a plate or something you were hoping to showcase. Take your cooled pastry cream, add to a piping bag and begin piping throughout the entire shell. Use an off set spatula to smooth out the tops. 

2. Grab your cleaned berries and start to place them on your tart. This is your opportunity to apply your own design to this creation! I love the look of red & blue so always want both strawberries/raspberries along with blueberries. 

3. In a small saucepan heat your apricot jam and stir occasionally until the jam is more fluid and able to be brushed. Then with a small pastry brush, brush off the tops of every piece of fruit. 

5. Place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes before eating. Only remove from fridge when you're ready to eat. 

After all that work you can finally enjoy a beautiful tartlet! So what do you guys think about Ryan's photography? Pretty beautiful right?? <3