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Lemon Meringue Pavlova

There’s something about summer weather that makes me want to make Pavlova. I just love meringue that is crunchy on the outside and soft and spongy inside. It’s so versatile too! You can fill this meringue nest with cream and fresh fruit, a chocolate mousse, or as I did, with lemon curd and cream. This has all the flavours of a lemon meringue pie, but I prefer the crunchy meringue texture to the softer meringue you usually get on a lemon meringue pie.

I’ve made this recipe many times. Sometimes I top the lemon curd with fresh blueberries or strawberries, but I was low on fresh fruit, so I opted for whipped cream. A delicious combination! The lemon curd balances the sweetness of the meringue and the whipped cream adds another layer of fresh flavour.

If you’ve never made a lemon curd before, don’t be afraid! It takes less than 10 minutes to throw together. All in all this dessert doesn’t have a lot of active baking time, but there is quite a bit of chilling and cooling time, so if you want this for dinner, I would suggest starting it in the morning or early afternoon.

Instead of drawing a circle on the parchment paper to use as a guide when shaping my pavlova, I put the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan underneath the parchment paper.

Enjoy!

[recipe title=”Lemon Meringue Pavlova” servings=”8-10″ cooktime=”4 hours including cooling time” difficulty=”easy” description=”Pavlova has a crisp, golden outside with a wonderful spongy middle. The tartness of the lemon curd balances perfectly with the sweetness of the meringue”][recipe-ingredients]

For the Pavlova
– 1 cup granulated sugar or superfine sugar
– 4 large egg whites
– 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
– 1 tbsp cornstarch
– 2 tsp vinegar
– 1 tsp vanilla

For the Lemon Curd
– 4 large egg yolks
– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tbsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
– 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

[/recipe-ingredients][recipe-directions]

For the Pavlova
1. Preheat oven to 300F
2.Place the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan on a baking sheet and top with a square of parchment paper (alternatively, trace a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper. Put the parchment paper circle-side down on the baking sheet).
3. In a food processor, process sugar for 30 seconds or until crystals are finer and smaller. If using superfine sugar, skip this step.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
5. Beat in sugar, 2 tbsp at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form.
6. Beat in cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla.
7. Spoon egg white mixture onto prepared circle. With back of spoon, form into a next shape with a hollow in the middle.
8. Place pavlova on baking sheet into preheated oven and immediately turn the oven down to 275F. Bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until crisp and light golden. Do not open the oven while baking!
9. Turn off the oven and let cool inside the oven without opening the door during the first hour. After 1 hour, prop the oven open a bit with a wooden spoon and let cool completely. This will stop the meringue from cracking.
10. When cool, slide a long metal spatula between the parchment paper and pavlova and move the pavlova to a serving plate.

For the Lemon Curd
1. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a large metal bowl or the top pot of a double boiler.
2. Place over a pot filled with one inch of barely simmering water. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick and similar in texture to a Hollandaise sauce, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter.
4. Pour curd into a small bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin.
5. Chill in fridge until completely cool.
– Curd may be refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Assembly
1. 10 minutes before assembling, remove lemon curd from the fridge to soften.
2. Carefully spread the lemon curd in the centre of the meringue nest.
3. Top with whipped cream or fresh fruit and some toasted coconut, if desired, and serve.
– Keep leftover pavlova in the fridge.[/recipe-directions][/recipe]

Place the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan on a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper.

Whip egg whites and cream of tarter until you have soft peaks.

With mixer running, slowly add sugar, 2 tbsp at a time.

Whip until you have stiff, glossy peaks.

Mix in vanilla, vinegar and corn starch.

Spoon into a 9-inch circle, using your spring form pan bottom as a guide. Form a hollow in the middle to make a next shape.

Bake until crisp and golden, then let cool completely in the oven.

Carefully remove from parchment paper then move to a serving plate.

In a large metal bowl or the top pan of a double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt.

Cook over a pan of barely simmering water over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and chill in the fridge until completely cool.

10 minutes before assembling, remove the lemon curd from the fridge to soften. When it is soft, carefully spread the curd over the centre of the meringue.

Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut or fresh fruit.

The pavlova is crisp in the centre and spongy in the middle. Delicious!

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