From Grandmother to Mother to Daughter – a Recipe for Pavlova, or as We Gals Call it, Schaum Torte

Mom 2

That’s my mom. She made a show stopping dessert and here’s the recipe:

First of all preheat your oven to 275 degrees, then cut up a large brown paper bag and line a baking sheet.

Now separate 6 six eggs. (Put the yolks aside to make a lemon custard, or, if you’re not inclined toss them away.) Beat the six egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Very, very gradually add two cups of sugar beating all the while, add a teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of vinegar. Keep beating, babies, until the mixture is as glossy as a satin ribbon, I mean GLOSSY. Et voilà! That’s the most difficult part of this entire slice of heaven.

Place the mixture on the lined baking sheet – this is what the meringue looks like before I pop it in the oven:

photoBake for one hour. It will be a mighty sugar-caramelized-puff when you take it out to cool. When the meringue shell is cool peel the paper away gently and place on a cake dish. Don’t freak if it cracks and settles because when you’re ready to serve it whip one pint cream until it holds a peak, add sugar to taste (just a bit because you want it to complement and kind of smooth out the crisp sugar shell with the cloud like sugar center). Garnish with the whipped cream and a pint to two pints of sliced strawberries, or sliced apricots and crushed pistachios with a sprinkling of grated lemon peel, or pitted cherries and raspberries or… You catch my drift.

Do what you like and it’ll be delicious – why, that’s almost my philosophy on life! (With a good dose of courtesy and mindfulness of others thrown in 😉 )

Here’s my disclaimer: I’m still taking a winter break and working on the next novel, but I thought between now and Christmas I’d share a few recipes and a few memories of Holidays gone by. I love the chatting that goes on here, and I feel awkward shutting that part of the blog down—so comments are open—and I’ll be rejoining the conversation in 2015.


  1. George Kaplan

    Mm. Delish. If I had any cooking ability whatsever, I would make that!
    The picture of your mother is so luminously beautiful.

    • I would send it to you – and you could supply your own cream and berries – but I shudder to think how it would arrive, some very tasty dust! Not exactly the effect we’re looking for in a sumptuous dessert.

  2. George Kaplan

    Oops, I missed the declaration at the bottom even though it’s in BOLD, it must be hysterical blindness 😉 “capable and most witty”, I must meet this Kaplan fellah…
    To be serious – Thank you, you’re the sweetest!

  3. Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful lady!! Thanks for the delicious recipe. I think I’ll try mine with strawberries! Yum!!
    Hugs and kisses!
    PS- you and your mother could be twins. Such a wonderful photo. 🙂

  4. Dearest V
    Is Mothers’ Day today or Sunday in the US of A… I am mightily confused!?!
    From now on this dish, rarely consumed though it may be chez nous, shall be known forever as “schaum torte”.
    By the by, I’m adoring the use of ‘pouf’, which has more than one other meaning in British English.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  5. Vicke,well Mothers day it is and you certainly have your Mothers eyes.I cant be the only one to have noticed that.Well hope my children have bought their Mother something.

    • George Kaplan

      Hi Edward, Vickie’s taking a break this week end but I’m sure she’ll appreciate your comment when she reads it. Ah, beautiful eyes you are so right about that! Hey, remember it’s just the *US* Mother’s Day so thete’s nothing to worry about 🙂

  6. Yum! We love a delish pav here, covered in slices of strawberries and kiwi fruit.

    I am still chuckling with The Perfumed Dandy over your use of the word pouf too. 😉

  7. iolacontessa

    OH I left a comment from my phone this AM and I see it did not take!I see YOU in your MOTHER!I haven’t HIT that STAGE where I shop from the comfort of my home!Only do I buy big coffee table books from AMAZON so I do not have to carry them to the CAR!Making my way through your book…………OMG!!!!!LOVED the DUQUETTE Bit!Have you noticed CORAL is BACK in home decor and jewelry??I never liked CORAL until NOW!!!Sandra drove me by TONY’s old STUDIO!!!!I have just left L.A. and am home now………………..I will finish the book soon!!I still like to shop like YOUR MAMA!MEET and GREET …….touch and carry out of the store it gives me a HIGH!!!!
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hello, Angel Contessa! My favorite bits of coral were the huge pieces my aunt used to have on display in her living room. We will meet soon. I just got home myself and slipped on an old fur of my mom’s (it has a late 60s early 70s feel) and in honor of her memory I am going to have the coat made into throw pillows, just like my prom dress 😉 . Thank you for the anniversary wishes, it’s been wonderful. Am going to write you an email now.
      XOX, V

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