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Spring Pavlova

Every recipe I write is hope for you to use it and make your own. Play around with what I have suggested, and have fun in the kitchen! If you don't want to spend a lot of time, skip the lemon curd and fill it with whipped cream and berries.

This ethereal dessert has a marshmallow-like chewy texture on the inside and a crisp exterior.

Makes 1 - 8 or 9 inch pavlova or 9 - 3 inch pavlovas



6 large egg whites, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Lemon curd filling, recipe below

Whipped cream, recipe below

Berry compote, recipe below

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Trace an 8-inch circle or 9 - 3 inch circles on parchment paper.

Transfer parchment paper, traced side down, to a baking sheet. Set aside.


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together on medium speed until soft peaks form.

  • Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.

  • Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar mixture, beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

  • Add vanilla and vinegar and continue whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

  • Pile spoonfuls of the meringue onto the parchment paper, creating a circle with high sides and an indentation in the center.

  • Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 275F and continue cooking until the meringue is firm and crispy on the exterior, about another 50 minutes for the large or another 30 for the individual. You’ll know the pavlova is finished baking when you can easily remove it from the back of the parchment paper.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  • Fill with lemon curd/whipped cream mixture.

Tips

  • Keep egg whites free of any yolks. They inhibit the egg whites from whipping.

  • Have egg whites at room temperature.

  • Whip egg whites to soft peaks before adding sugar.

  • Store unfilled pavlovas at room temperature. They are best eaten within two days.

  • Fill the pavlova just before serving; otherwise, it will be soggy.


Lemon Curd

Makes about 1 cup

¾ cup granulated sugar

6 egg yolks

1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

6 ounces lemon juice

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • Whisk together the granulated sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.

  • Whisk in the lemon juice and then add in the butter.

  • Place over medium heat (the mixture will look like it is curdling, but it is the butter beginning to melt), constantly whisking until the mixture begins to thicken and boil. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.

  • Transfer lemon curd to a bowl or container, cover it with plastic wrap (directly touching the surface of the curd), and cool.

Whipped Cream

Makes enough for 1 large pavlova or 8-9 individual


1 pint (16 ounces) heavy cream

½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream, creme fraiche or plain yogurt, optional

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixture. Using the whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.


Tips:

  • Make sure the cream is cold when whipping.

  • I like to use sour cream to cut the sweetness of the meringue. This is entirely optional.

  • The cream can be whipped a few hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator and briefly whip by hand before using.

Options

  • Use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.

  • Use different extracts or alcohol to change the flavor of the whipped cream.

  • Crush dried fruit, such as raspberries or mango, and add to whipped cream.

  • Stir lemon curd and whipped cream together to make a lighter curd.

  • Fold chopped fruit into the cream.

  • To make chocolate whipped cream combine 8 ounces of heavy cream and 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate in a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and whip as directed above.


Berry Compote

Makes enough for 1 pavlova or 8- 9 individual


1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons water

1 10-oz. package frozen mixed berries, thawed, with their juices

1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Set aside.

  • Combine the berries and their juices, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, occasionally stirring until the sugar dissolves. When bubbles appear on the side of the pan, just before the fruit reaches a full boil, quickly stir in the cornstarch mixture. Let the fruit boil for only 1 minute to cook the cornstarch; overcooking will make the fruit disintegrate. Remove from the heat.

  • The compote will thicken further as it cools. The compote should be served on the pavlova at room temperature.

To assemble:


Fill the pavlova with dollops of whipped cream and lemon curd. Using a spoon, swirl them together. Put the pavlova on a plate and top it with berry compote allowing it to cascade down the sides.


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