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Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries

Enjoy this pillowy soft, marshmallow-like Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries for a delightful dessert at your next dinner event!

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

Sometimes you don’t want to serve cake at a dinner party. GASP! A crazy thought, I know. But seriously, some people aren’t cake eaters. Or they are looking for something different, even a gluten-free dessert that is still decadent and elegant enough for a special dinner party. Well this pavlova is for you!

Whipping up egg whites for meringue: Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

This dish is basically a giant meringue. Meringue is basically whipped egg whites and sugar. You whip it and whip it and whip it until it reaches stiff peaks, like whipped cream

Whipping up egg whites for meringue: Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

You wan’t stiff peaks, that hold its shape because you are going to spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet and create a well in it, like a very shallow bowl. If the batter doesn’t hold it’s shape, neither will your meringue bowl.

Meringue shell ready to bake for Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

Then you bake it. Once baked, the meringue is crunchy all the way through, with a bit chewiness in it, like a marshmallow. Now your shell is done and you just have to let it cool until you are ready to serve.

Baked meringue shell for Whipping up egg whites for meringue: Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

You can make your own lemon curd, or purchase already made lemon curd. I’ve included a recipe below if you want to make a traditional lemon curd. I also have a recipe for olive oil lemon curd, which is great for our vegan friends who don’t eat butter.

Lemon Curd filling for Whipping up egg whites for meringue: Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

If you are making lemon curd, make it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Then you add some lemon curd and mix it with whipped cream and spoon it in the center of your meringue bowl.

Assembling Whipping up egg whites for meringue: Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by FamilySpice.com

Top with your favorite berries or stone fruit and you have a very beautiful Pavlova dessert to impress your guests. Why do we call this a Pavlova? This dish is supposedly named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. A little food trivia for you!

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries

Author:

Recipe adapted from Gourmet, April 2009

Enjoy this pillowy soft, marshmallow-like Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries for a delightful dessert at your next dinner event!

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature 30 mins
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF with rack in the middle.
  2. Trace an approximately 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Turn parchment paper over and put on a baking sheet.
  4. Whisk together in a small bowl:
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 TBS cornstarch
  5. In a separate bowl, using a handheld mixer at medium speed beat until they hold soft peaks:
    • 3 egg whites , at room temperature 30 mins
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  6. Increase speed to medium-high and whip in sugar mixture 1 TBS at a time.
  7. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more.
  8. Mix in:
    • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  9. Beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (longer if using handheld mixer).
  10. Gently spread meringue inside circle on parchment, making edge of meringue slightly higher than center (the "crater" is for curd and fruit).
  11. Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes (inside will still be marshmallow-like).
  12. Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon.
  13. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour.
  14. Make lemon curd while meringue bakes.
  15. in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stir together:
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 TBS cornstarch
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  16. Keep whisking until well blended, then continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 1 more minute.
  17. In a small bowl, lightly beat:
    • 3 egg yolks
  18. Whisk in 1/4 cup lemon mixture, then whisk into remaining lemon mixture in saucepan.
  19. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thickened, about 2 minutes (do not let boil).
  20. Transfer to a bowl and stir in:
    • 2 tsp lemon zest , grated
  21. Cover surface with parchment paper, and chill in the refrigerator until cool, about 1 1/2 hours.
  22. When ready to serve, pour in a chilled bowl:
    • 1 cup heavy cream
  23. Using a handheld mixer, beat cream until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold 1/4 cup beaten cream into curd to lighten.
  24. Spoon lemon curd into meringue and mound berries on top.
  25. Serve remaining whipped cream on the side.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Use any fresh fruits that are in season such as peaches, nectarines, kiwis and bananas.

Cooking Tips: •For best results, keep oven door closed as much as possible during baking. •Meringue can be made 2 days ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic. Thaw before serving. •Curd can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.

Prep Time:

Yield: 8 servings

Cook Time:

Total Time: