Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries [recipe]

Hello there! It feels great to be back here blogging again. I apologize for my absence, there was a lot on my plate and I had to set blogging aside, but I’ve been very active on my instagram account so if you are on insta, check it out! @CinCinLetsEat, or click on the instagram icon on bottom right of page. I would love to hear from you 🙂 Summer is officially here and I thought my first post back should a dessert perfect for summer…a light and fluffy pavlova topped with lemon curd and fresh berries! A pavlova is basically a meringue cake, it’s made with egg whites whipped with sugar until fluffy, followed by gently folding in cornstarch and vinegar, then low and slow baking in the oven until the outer shell is crispy while the center remains soft like marshmallow. The pavlova is fairly sweet because the proper amount of sugar is needed in order for the meringue to hold up. We can easily offset that sweetness by adding some tart ingredients like berries or citrus as toppings. It’s really a light and delicious dessert, I absolutely adore it!

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Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries

Recipe adapted from Chow

Notes: I was short on time so I used store-bought lemon curd, but my usual go-to-recipe for lemon curd is from Ina Garten. Also, I made this dessert for my friend who has dairy allergy, so I purchased rice whip from Whole Foods in replacement of heavy whipping cream. The brand is called Soyatoo, and they make soy and rice whip in aerosol can, I had some trouble getting the rice whip to dispense but it was really delicious. I believe they also come in boxes (in liquid form) so you can whip up the quantity you want with a mixer.

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites with no traces of yolk, at room temperature
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lemon curd, chilled
  • 2 cup whipped cream, chilled (whipped from 1 cup heavy whipping cream + 2 tsp granulated sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract) or two cups of rice whip
  • ~2 cups of assorted berries

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 250°F, place rack in the middle.
  2. Trace a 9-inch circle onto a piece of parchment paper (Use a 9-inch cake pan and pen or marker.) Flip it over and place on a baking sheet. The circle should be visible from the reversed side.
  3. Whisk the egg whites and salt on medium speed with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Please note that the bowl and the whisk should both be very clean and dry. Whisk for about two minutes until the egg whites are light with very few bubbles remain.
  4. Increase the mixer speed to high, and slowly stream in the sugar. Whisk for about 3 minutes until shiny and stiff peaks are formed, it will resemble marshmallow creme. (Be careful to not over whip. The keyword here is SHINY. Once you over whip the meringue, it will lose its shine and appear curdled.)
  5. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl and sift cornstarch over meringue using a fine mesh strainer. Add vinegar and vanilla extract, and gently fold everything into the meringue with a rubber spatula until no streaks of vanilla remain. Don’t over fold as it will deflate the meringue.
  6. Dab a tiny bit of meringue and apply it to under the four corners of the parchment paper to glue it down. Pile the meringue onto the parchment paper. With the 9″ circle as the guide, use an offset spatula to smooth it to the edges of the circle. Form a round disk about 1 inch tall.
  7. Bake for 60 minutes, the meringue is done when the outer shell is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let the whole baking sheet cool down completely on a wire rack.
  8. Once cooled, run a metal spatula under to gently loosen the meringue. You can wrap up the meringue carefully with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container in a cool corner, it will keep up to one week. Don’t assemble the pavlova in advance as the meringue will absorb the moisture from the cream, turning the dessert soggy.
  9. Fold the chilled lemon curd into the whipped cream, no need to incorporate completely.
  10. Slide the pavlova onto a serving platter or cake stand when you are ready to serve. Crack the center of the pavlova slightly with the back of a spoon. Pile on the lemon curd whipped cream and spread it to the edges, top with fresh berries and serve immediately.

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