Mother’s Day Tea Party and Blueberry Pavlovas

I have something a little different to share with you today! I’ve teamed up with my friend Chelsey from West Coast Capri to bring you a Mother’s Day tea party! Chelsey has a gorgeous lifestyle blog where she posts about fashion, design, beauty, and food. I have a pretty good handle on food, but I’m completely fashion illiterate, so I basically creep on her blog and live vicariously through her life. When I read about her Valentine’s Day party and her Isle of Capri birthday party, I was smitten and knew we had to work together on a themed event. Her decorating skills, my food…it would be a party to remember!

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

We wanted to create the ultimate tea party for Mother’s Day. If you think about it, it’s a natural combination. Moms are awesome. Tea parties are awesome. Wee little bite-sized desserts that you can eat by the dozen while holding your pinky in the air? Also awesome. My mom most definitely deserves a tea party, buuuuut since she lives far away, she’ll have to settle for a long-distance Skype session with her darling grandchild. (Sorry, mom.) I ate a few mini cupcakes to honor her.

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

Anyhow, if you have a mom, grandma, aunt, sister or friend in your life who deserves to be honored this Mother’s Day, I hope this will provide a little inspiration for you!

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

Chelsey hosted us in her beautiful house, and decorated the space with overflowing bouquets of fresh flowers, including some of my favorites like hydrangeas and tulips. She also found the most gorgeous tea set at Anthropologie that gave our party a romantic yet modern vibe.

We did a lot of party brainstorming (check out our Mother’s Day Tea Party Pinterest board!) and pretty much every tea party we came across had a similar look: soft pastels, lace, flowers, frills…you know the drill. And I am not mad at pink macarons or fondant flowers on cookies, but it’s all been done and it’s all so expected. I love that this tea set had a bolder look that gave our party a luxe, contemporary feeling. And couldn’t you just stare at this teapot for hours? Just me, then? Okay.

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

But what’s a tea party without finger foods? I made four mini desserts for the occasion: mini blueberry pavlovas, lemon cupcakes, hazelnut orange chocolate scones, and raspberry vanilla petit fours. Oh, and a giant vat of lemon curd. Because tea party.

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

 

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

I also couldn’t resist making a few baby cakes for the occasion. Only one ended up on the final table, but that’s okay because this one was my favorite. Covered in sparkling gold sprinkles, and decorated with a ring of gold Sixlets, it’s a little more simple than my usual style, but so elegant. A good reminder to myself to not make things more complicated than they need to be! Sometimes a few gold sparkles are all you need.

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

I’ll be featuring recipes from the tea party over the next few days, starting with these mini blueberry pavlovas. Now that spring is truly underway and I’ve started to see more berries pop up at the store, I wanted a light dessert where the fresh fruit could shine. The fact that they coordinated perfectly with the navy and white tea set didn’t hurt either!

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

Pavlovas consist of a crunchy meringue shell, filled with whipped cream and topped with fruit. The moisture from the cream softens the meringue, so every bite is a little crunchy, a little gooey, and really delicious. I’ve made large pavlovas for the blog before, but since a tea party demands daintier treats, mini pavlovas were definitely the way to go this time.

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

You can make these with any fruit you like—berries are traditional, but kiwis, mangoes, pomegranates, and cherries would all be wonderful. The shells can be made several days in advance, which makes them a good dessert for a party. Have everything prepped and ready to go, bang out the assembly in a few minutes, and before you know it, you’re piling these pavlovas on a plate like a party-throwin’ boss.

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

The pavlova recipe is below, and keep checking back for more tea party recipes throughout the week! Be sure to visit West Coast Capri for Chelsey’s take on it, including resources for all the decorations and linens so you can throw a tea party of your own!

Mother's Day Tea Party | SugarHero.com

 

Blueberry Pavlovas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 5 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1¼ cups superfine sugar (aka caster sugar or baker’s sugar)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • Fresh mint leaves to garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 F (121 C). Cover a baking sheet with parchment, and trace twelve 2½" circles on the parchment, using a cookie cutter or the bottom of a glass as a pattern. (The pavlovas will spread a bit as they bake, so leave a few inches between them. If you don't have a cookie sheet large enough, use two sheets rather than crowd the pavlovas.)
  2. Place the room temperature egg whites in the very clean and dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Any trace of fat might cause the whites to not whip properly, so make sure the bowl and whisk are clean, and that there are no traces of yolks in the whites. Whip the whites until they are foamy, then add the cream of tartar. Continue to whip on medium-high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Don’t over-whip and let the white get crumbly and dry.
  3. Once at stiff peaks, turn the mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, over the course of 2-3 minutes. You want to incorporate the sugar gradually so it all dissolves easily. After all the sugar is added, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat the egg whites on high speed for 5-6 minutes, until the whites are very glossy and stiff, and the sugar is completely dissolved. If you rub the meringue between your fingers or taste it, you shouldn’t feel any of the sugar crystals.
  4. When the whites are done, add the salt and vanilla paste or vanilla extract, and gently fold them in, stopping as soon as everything is mixed. Scrape the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. Using your traced circles as a guide, first pipe a flat circle, then pipe around the edges several times to create a nest shape. If you don't have a piping bag, you can just pile the meringue onto the circles with a spoon, and swirl the bowl of the spoon around the center of the meringue to create an indentation.
  5. Bake the pavlovas for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 250 F, then turn the oven off. As the oven cools you can crack the door slightly, but don’t open it all the way or remove the tray until it’s completely cool. The cooling process will take another hour or two. The pavlovas can be made in advance and stored at room temperature, lightly covered with cling wrap, for up to 5 days.
  6. Once the pavlovas are cool, whip the cream with the powdered sugar until firm peaks start to form. Pile the cream in the center of the pavlova. Spoon the cream into the centers of the pavlovas, then top with a generous mound of fresh blueberries and a few mint leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.
Notes
This recipe calls for superfine sugar, also known as caster sugar or baker’s sugar. It’s more finely ground that typical granulated sugar, and it produces a superior texture in the pavlova, without any grittiness. It can be found in the baking aisle of many stores, but if you can’t find it, you can make your own by whizzing granulated sugar in a food processor for several minutes. It should be noticeably finer and a little powdery, like very fine sand, by the time you’re done with it.

 

28 Responses to Mother’s Day Tea Party and Blueberry Pavlovas
  1. Medeja says:

    Tea party for Mom.. I love the idea! I wish my mom was closer :(

    • Elizabeth says:

      I hear you–me too! I fortunately get to see her a few times a year, but it would be so fun to live closer. :/ Maybe one day! Thanks for stopping by, Medeja!

  2. This looks beautiful! I love a good pavlova. Thank you for posting :)

  3. This HAS to be the BEST tea party ever!!!!!!!!!!! Loveeeee all those cutesy sweet treats!!!!!! And these blueberry pavlovas!!!!!! Oh yum! <3 I.WANT.!!!!!!!!!!!
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession recently posted…Brown Butter, Malt and Orange Oreo crepe Cake – Happy 1st Birthday TCC

  4. Johlene says:

    Lovely tea party indeed! You are right the crockery is different, in a way vintage but also contemporary.. Thanks for this recipe, I love tapa-style desserts and I lovvvvvvvve pavlova! Happy week!! xoxo
    Johlene recently posted…Soccer Birthday Party

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you Johlene! Isn’t the tea set gorgeous?? I briefly considered trying to smuggle it out with me, but thought she might get suspicious…

  5. This is such a fun idea! You two make an incredible team. I wish people had more tea parties …
    That cake is stunning! Although I’d be partial to these pavlovas. The gooey, crunchy, and berry has my heart stolen!
    Mary Frances recently posted…Fudgy Brownie Cake with Chocolate Pudding Frosting (dairy free!)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Mary Frances! I agree, tea parties are where it’s at. My husband and I have a long-standing tradition of going to afternoon tea for special occasions and we often try to find a place to have tea when we travel, too. It’s a fun tradition and an excellent way to sample teensy little foods! :)

  6. This tea party looks amazing! You’re right – that tea set is boss. And even though it’s cold where I am right now, those lil’ pavlovas are calling my name.
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit recently posted…THE BEST Oven Chips

    • Elizabeth says:

      You need to come up with a cold-weather pavlova! If anyone could make that culinary masterpiece, it would be you!

  7. Yum. I’ve eaten pavlovas, but never made them. Maybe I’ll make them, then teach my kids to make them, then they can throw me a tea party like this one, b/c I’d love to attend without having to do the work!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I mean, what are children FOR if not to make food for their parents?? And mother’s day is coming up, after all…better teach them in the next day or two! ;)

  8. Jessa says:

    Love your blog – but these are not pavlovas! Pavlova is a New Zealand and Australian dessert which has a thin crust of meringue with a soft marshmallow middle. I’m a kiwi and love pavlovas and feel sad when people think that a meringue and a pavlova are the same thing :(

  9. The idea of a tea party for mom is great! And you two joining forces to knock it out really did make one hell of a party. Thanks for the ideas and can’t wait to see the rest of the recipes. Those pavlova’s (whatever they’re called) look fabulous!
    Los | The Man, The Chef, The Dad recently posted…Humpday Update – 5/7/14 – NYC Edition!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you so much! Can I assume then that your wife will be enjoying a tea party breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day? ;)

  10. Danguole says:

    -That gold cake! I think it’s my favorite.

    -You are so right: pastels and frills are boooorrrring. This is so vibrant and fresh! Love love love.

    -I can’t wait to see the scones.

    -Asher’s gonna have a lot to live up to here when he’s old enough to throw Mother’s Day parties for you. That boy better get a head start on perfecting his meringue techniques, is what I’m saying.

    -I think all of our comments to each other consist (or might as well consist) of bulleted lists. We are chatty!
    Danguole recently posted…Purple Velvet Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Danguole! I have been trying to train Asher and get him in the kitchen with me as much as possible so I can be spoiled in a few years. I am pleased to say that I did get breakfast in bed today, but I suspect that Jason did most of the heavy lifting on that one. :)

      And our brains are full of Big Thoughts, it’s no wonder we have to make bulleted lists!

  11. What a sweet and beautiful post, Elizabeth. I am a huge fan of tea parties since I can never seem to get enough of all the cute desserts and finger foods. Also, tea is my all-time favorite drink, so naturally I am loving a party that’s all about it.
    And your pavlovas couldn’t be more fitting for Mother’s Day. I bet they taste every bit as delicious as they look!!
    Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! recently posted…Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

    • Elizabeth says:

      From one tea party lover to another, thank you! I’m obsessed with mini desserts and finger foods too!

  12. Oh my gosh!! How cute!!
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes recently posted…My Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  13. Oh my, everything on this table looks SO GOOD. I’d totally walk away in a sugar coma if i had been there. And the table setting is just beautiful. I want that tea pot!!
    Amy @ Elephant Eats recently posted…Life post-move…

  14. So can I just point this out again? “Oh, and a giant vat of lemon curd. Because tea party.” LOL!!!! But seriously everything looks amazing, it’s just that your dead-pan delivery really does it for me.
    Meggan Hill recently posted…Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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