This is one of the finest things I’ve ever made.
I recently made a Boston Creme Pie for the first time. That’s another post for another day, but that recipe called for a custard made from 6 egg yolks. Which meant I had 6 egg whites that I didn’t want to go to waste. So I did a quick internet search and Bam! I found this great recipe for Lemon Curd Pavlova with Fresh Berries.
According to Chow.com, where I found the recipe, Pavlova is a light meringue-based cake topped with whipped cream. Named for the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, it is popular in both Russia and Australia with lots of regional-based, handed down variations.
This version called for adding in some tangy lemon curd. Once I read through the recipe, I knew I had to channel my inner Black Swan and put this together. And it was super easy. It might seem like a lot of directions, but it goes quickly.
First you make a meringue base, then make some homemade whipped cream (which is one of the easiest things in the world). Fold in some lemon curd – don’t combine it completely. Layer that on the baked meringue and top it off with berries of your choice.
- 1 jar lemon curd
- 4 large egg whites at room temp
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups fresh berries of your choice
Preheat oven to 250 and arrange a rack in the middle. Using a 9-inch round cake pan, trace a circle onto a piece of parchment paper with a pen or marker. Flip the paper over and place it on a baking sheet (the traced circle should be visible); set aside.
Place the egg whites and salt in the very clean, dry bowl (cause when would you ever use a dirty, wet bowl – amiright?). Mix on medium speed until the whites begin to lighten in color and become thick and foamy with small bubbles – about 2 mins. Increase speed to high and slowly add 1 cup of the sugar in a thin stream. Mix until firm, shiny peaks form, resembling marshmallow cream – 3-5 mins. This will be the meringue base.
Sift the cornstarch through a fine-mesh strainer into the meringue. Lightly fold the vinegar and vanilla into the meringue with a rubber spatula until no streaks of vanilla remain. You want to get everything combined without deflating the egg whites – they should remain as light and fluffy as possible.
Using the rubber spatula, pile the meringue into the center of the circle drawn on the parchment paper and smooth it to the edges of the circle to form a rough, even disk about 1 inch tall. Weigh down the parchment paper with some cans, if needed.
Bake until the meringue is firm but slightly soft in the middle, about 60 mins. Remove from oven and cool completely. Run a thin metal spatula under the meringue to loosen – there will be some cracking, this is normal. Carefully slide it onto a serving platter or stand and set aside.
Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a clean bowl and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 mins. You want to make a good, stiff whipped cream.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the chilled lemon curd into the whipped cream. Don’t completely combine! You’ll want to leave big streaks of curd throughout the whipped cream. Pile the mixture into the center of the baked meringue and spread it to the edges. Top with the fresh berries to make a great presentation and serve immediately.