Wooooo weeeeeee it’s summer fo sho! Time for light and/or frozen desserts. I wouldn’t have ever fancied myself a meringue person , but this recipe has totally changed my mind. Pavlovas are brilliantly airy and sweet. I tried a few recipes following them to the letter and, frustratingly, end up with flat little pancake meringues (grimace). I looked like a meringue bomb had exploded all over me and had nothing to show for it, this is why baking makes me nuts. So, given my lack of success with an actual recipe, I decided to wing it a bit. What could it hurt?! I was already a mess! The results were truly delectable and super easy. I was able to easily make extra batches and they turned out predictably lovely each time. That’s what we like!

The aged lavender balsamic is a bit on the syrup side of the thickness spectrum. You can also make a balsamic reduction steeped in dried lavender flowers and simply strain the flowers out and let cool before use. This is a lovely, tangy and earthy contrast to the sweetness of the meringue and peaches. The cool, fresh whipped cream pairs beautifully with the crisp outer shell of meringue and chewy center and balances the caramelized rich sweetness of the peaches.

I had some great friends over to help me not eat all this sugar myself and it was a big hit! Not a spec was left behind:)

pavlova, peaches, meringue, recipe, dessert,  recipe, food photographer, crystal cartier

pavlova, peaches, meringue, recipe, dessert,  recipe, food photographer, crystal cartier

makes 2   6″ pavlovas

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated on microplane
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint whipping cream, beaten into whipped whipped cream
  • 4 ripe peaces, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoon good maple syrup
  • lavender infused aged (or a reduction) balsamic vinegar, optional but a lovely tangy contrast

~ Preheat oven to 325 degrees

~ Line a baking sheet with parchment and use a bowl to trace 2 6” diameter circles onto the parchment. Flip the parchment over so the circles are on the underside (so as not to get marker in your meringue).

~ In a large bowl, beat egg white and salt on medium speed with an electric hand mixer until stiff but not dry.

~Increase speed to high and slowly add sugar in very small increments, blending thoroughly each time. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat for another minute or so to combine.

~ Divide meringue in half on the two circles on the parchment. Shape meringue nests with the back of a spoon making a slight depression in the middle of each nest for whipped cream and fruit.

~ Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven an immediately decrease heat to 200 degrees. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Then turn off oven and leave baking sheet in oven allow meringues to completely cool.


~ Heat butter/ coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat until melted, add sliced peaches and sauté until soft. Turn up heat a bit, add maple syrup and sauté until the peaches caramelize a bit and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

~ Top each meringue with a generous scoop of fresh whipped cream and roasted peaches. Drizzle lightly with the lavender aged balsamic. 





Sometimes it’s nice to keep things simple and savory! I love making sauces that you can just throw onto some grilled meat in a jiffy and have a special meal. This becomes especially convenient when the summer days reach the triple digits and you just can’t even imagine turning a stove on. Torture. Pure, sticky, heat torture. This chimichurri is fresh and bright in flavor with an undercurrent of earthy garlic. I usually make it with fresh raw garlic but you can also use roasted garlic for a richer flavor or if you’re not a fan of the sheer power that is raw garlic! For the sake of speed and laziness, I throw everything in the blender and blitz it up. I’m soooo not patient enough to chop everything up super tiny!

So grill up some steak (or chicken!), top with some sauteed mushrooms, chimichurri and whip up a simple salad for an easy, quick, and oven-free dinner on a busy day!

mushrooms, beech, wild mushrooms, gourmet, recipe, grilling, food photography, Crystal Cartier

steak, chimichurri, recipe, grilling, food photography, Crystal Cartier


  • 1+ cup firmly packed fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2+ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (raw or roasted)
  • 1/2+ cup extra virgin olive oil (to reach desired consistency)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

~ Blitz all ingredients in a food processor or blender until combined. Then add more olive oil if needed to reach desired consistency and blitz again.


~ Heat grill to a medium heat.

~ Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill steak for 4-5 minutes each side for medium-rare (~1″ thick cut).

~ Top steak with sauteed mushrooms and chimichurri and serve.


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