Lavender Berry Pavlova

07 . 06 . 14

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Paradise in Plain Sight, Karen Maezen Miller

Chapter 10, pg. 82-83

We experience our lives through the senses, a truly marvelous thing. In the split second after the pure cognition of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking we form a reaction to a sense object: attraction or aversion, liking or disliking, the subjective judgement of good or bad. No matter how we react to our environment, the environment has no gripe with us. Every war is a war with ourselves. Everything is empty and ephemeral. We can turn anything into a weapon to wreak havoc and destroy peace, as we do.

If you doubt any of this, remember what you took on faith in fourth-grade science. All matter is composed of atoms. Atoms are empty space. By definition you can’t see emptiness. You can’t even imagine it. But you can be it. You already are it. Now, to live and let live in emptiness: that is the secret to paradise. It’s a secret hidden in plain sight, but it can take you forever to crack the code.

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First, be quiet. Give away your ideas, self-certainty, judgements, and opinions. Drop your personal agenda. Let go of defenses and offenses. Face your critics. They will always outnumber you.

Lose all wars. All wars are lost to begin with. Abandon your authority and entitlements. Release your self-image: status, power, whatever you think gives you clout. It doesn’t, not really. That’s a lie you’ve never believed. Give up your seat. Be what you are: unguarded, unprepared, and surrounded on all sides. Alone, you are a victim of no one and nothing. You are ready as you’ll ever be; you were born ready. The possibilities are endless. Reject nothing. What appears in front of you is your liberation – that is, unless you judge it. Then you imprison yourself again.

Now that you are free, see where you are. Observe what is needed. Do good quietly. If it’s not done quietly, it’s not good. Start over. Even now, as you read along, are you formulating an objection to this in your mind? Because that’s what I do, and that’s what I have to stop – the endless, imaginary debates, the pros and cons of this and that. They wear me out.


I push back from the fray and step out into the garden where the leaves rustle and bend in gentle rhythm with the wind. The air is fresh. The sky is blue. It’s an amazing place we live in when we’re not at odds with it. Who can contain the love that this one life brings with it? It is boundless.

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Lavender Berry Pavlova

We made this sucker a few weeks before the wedding (sneak a peek here, we’ll share more photos here when they come in). I got a little heavy handed with the lavender on my first batch of whipped cream. HOLY moses. It was a little like eating one of those sleepy eye masks. Do be careful when you’re adding it to the mix, the essential oils are quite potent!

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup super fine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • –––
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 drops food grade lavender essential oil
  • –––
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Separate yolks from whites, allowing whites to combine over a medium mixing bowl. Beat whites by hand with a good whisk until firm and formulating stiff peaks (5-10 minutes). When the peaks are firmed, tip bowl upside down and nothing should move. Slowly fold in sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla with a rubber spatula.

Pile the meringue onto a parchment covered baking sheet in the shape of a thick, stout frisbee. Bake for 1 hr at 200’ F. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile prep the lavender whipping cream and berries for serving. In the basin of an electric stand mixer, whip cream on high. When it starts to thicken, add sugar, vanilla, and a few careful droplets of essential oil. Chill before serving and assembling the pavlova. **If fresh lavender is more readily available, an alternative method is to steep 1 sprig of fresh lavender in cream over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain cream and allow to cool before creating whipped cream.

Combine the strawberries, blueberries, and whatever summer fruit strikes your fancy in a bowl and toss with a bit of sugar and lemon juice, just enough to coat the berries lightly. To assemble, place cooled pavlova on serving dish. Spread whipped cream evenly across the surface and top with generous heaps of berries.

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  • Cassandra

    Stunning photography!

  • eeeeee! this is sooo beautiful!!! congratulations on getting married, you two!!! wishing you a life full of happiness and pavlovas as pretty as this one.

  • This is the picture of summer!

  • oh yes! Lavender is the love language of my soul. This is a lot of love. Thinking lots of you two xo

  • Stunning–these words, those wedding photos, this lavender berry pavlova. Thank you for sharing, always. Wishing you and your love the absolute best!

  • Aeron

    Ah…lovely! Summery and beautiful…
    Best wishes on the wedding, many thanks for the recipe!

  • This is so pretty and congrats on getting married! Wising you guys the best and happiest marriage!

  • This is such an inspiring post. I love it! Thank you.
    ~Niki Cade

  • I can’t tell you how in need of those words I was today. Checking out that book, stat. Also, this recipe…love. Let’s hang soon, girlie. xo

  • The excerpt from the book is lovely, exactly what I needed. I’ll be sure to be careful with the lavender when the time comes! Congratulations on getting married, all the happiness and love to you both!

  • Congratulations on your marriage!!!

    And what a beautiful post…the words and the photos…just awesome!

  • KL

    Have skimmed through so much lately, but the word emptiness caught my eye.
    Your posts always get to me and now I feel like crying.
    Thanks for being you

  • Such gorgeous photography! I feel as if I was there during this pavlova’s creation.

  • I have never made anything like this, but it seems simple, not to mention absolutely delectable!

  • This is so stunning, as always. And I absolutely loved seeing snippets of your wedding — so much congratulations to both of you! Thank you for sharing those special moments and these with us.

  • This is such a beautiful pavlova crowned with all that stunning fruit. Yummy!

  • Congrats on the wedding!

    This pavlova has my name on it. I bake with lavender all the time, but I’ve never used the lavender essential oils – will definitely have to try that next time. Yum!

  • Congratulations! I got married last September in the Canadian Rockies, and sometimes I don’t know what was more beautiful: marrying my best friend on a perfect day, or the lavender, grey color of the sky above the mountains at dawn.
    This is a beautiful post, from title to end. Thank you for sharing!

  • Adela

    Congratulations Kelsey looks like it was a beautiful wedding, very best wishes to both of you.
    Thanks so much for a number of things – wake up words today and previously, achievable pavlova, and tunes from the last post that have so helped keep me going.

  • Beautiful, as ever. The words. The images. You.

  • What a beautiful treat and a stunning wedding photo. Congratulations on the wedding

  • Lovely as ever, Kelsey. Congratulations to you both! I’ve been checking Instagram for more snaps from the day. You look radiant!

  • Drop dead gorgeous…

  • Congrats!!!!!! Marriage rocks :) And going back to the recipe – it must be amazing as I can’t stop watching this beautiful pictures.

  • “Lose all wars. All wars are lost to begin with.”

    Wow. Yes.

  • So it’s Zen. I can smell the Buddha’s words from afar, hehe. I guess that goes with living in a Dharma Center. Beautiful quotation, beautiful dessert, and beautiful you! Joy and love and lots of wishes for all that follows.

  • “who can contain the joy that one live brings with it?” love this, Kelsey

  • What a lovely dessert. The lavender addition is awesome. I just got back from a trip to Spain and photographed tons of wild lavender. Great idea!

  • wow… this is incredibly beautiful. what an awesome idea to use lavender – definitely a recipe i will be saving to test in my kitchen. thanks for the inspiration.

  • paloma

    What a stunning recipe!!! And I love the pictures too.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  • Looks heavenly! Thank you for the recipe and for the tips too!

  • I’ve really been eating up (literally) the berry-lavender combo this summer, now I can’t wait to try this recipe too!

  • it looks gorgeous!

  • This looks amazing!

    And a huge congratulations!!!! So exciting for you guys :)

  • I’m so happy you posted this recipe Kelsey! I’ve always wanted to make a pavlova but I thought it would be really difficult, thanks for demystifying the recipe!

  • absolutely beautiful! i need to make this for my husband for date night ;)

  • Thank you Kelsey! I follow your recipes all the time. I have 3 kids and the recipes help me get to a calm, happy place.

  • I just got back from the farmer’s market with a pile of sweet, yummy strawberries, blueberries and raspberries… Now I know what I will do!


  • I just dicovered your blog recently and I really enjoy reading it! Your recipes look all delicious and the pictures are great! Today I’m going to the grocery store and am going to start to follow your recipes – let’s give it a try :)

  • Bladie

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the blog. However, aren’t you severely underwhipping your whites in these pictures? Your meringue comes out all bubbly instead of smooth…

  • This pavlova looks wonderful!


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