As I read about Australia having a heat wave ( and we are freezing our buts off here) , I instantly craved pavlova. I recall that gorgeous sticky crispy cloud-like meringue I ate at Bondi Beach in Bill Granger’s diner. To die for! I added some lemon curd as I found these vibrant organic Portuguese lemons at the fruit stand this weekend.
PAVLOVA – The infamous Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova performing in New Zeeland during her world tour in 1926 had tasked the hotel chef to make her a sweet treat. There are many variations of this story but who cares, it’s a part of their history and considered a national dessert in both Australia and New Zealand. And I love this egg whites, caster sugar and fruit delight!
LEMON CURD – is a dessert topping made with beaten egg yolks, sugar, citrus juice and zest. It’s used in creating lemon meringue pie. I just skipped the pie part for this recipe. It can be stored up to 3 months and 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge once the sealed jar is opened.
- always use organic lemons when using zest in cooking, otherwise you are just grating chemicals into your food.
- add a splash of vinegar and detergent to a wash cloth and wash your mixing bowl thoroughly so no grease remains or the egg whites won’t stiffen.
- the limoncello is optional if you wish to keep it alcohol free
- sterilize the jars
- lick the spoon. Always lick the spoon!
My pavlova with lemon curd
Yield 4 portions
for the pavlova:
- 3 egg whites ( keep the 3 egg yolk for the lemon curd)
- 175 gr caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
for the lemon curd:
- 3 lemons, zest and juice
- 1 table spoon limoncello
- 30 gr corn flour
- 225 ml water
- 125 gr caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 75 ml cream, whipped
- For the pavlova: pre-heat the oven at 160 C, line a baking tray with baking parchment. Draw a circle size of a small plate.
- In the clean mixing bowl add the egg whites and whisk with an electric whisk ( I used a handheld, works just fine too) until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually add the sugar a little at time, whisking at maximum speed until they are stiff and glossy. Mix the corn flour and vinegar in a cup till smooth and stir into the egg whites.
- Spoon the meringue onto the baking sheet and smooth the edges into a round dome. Flatten and concave slightly the top so it can hold the curd later.
- Reduce the oven temperature form 160C to 140C and bake in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours. Switch off the oven and leave the pavlova overnight (or a few hours at least) to cool and dry.
- For the lemon curd: mix the lemoncello, lemon zest and juice with the corn flour add stir to form a smooth mixture.
- In a mixing bowl add the sugar and egg yolks and whisk till pale. Reserve.
- Boil the water in a non stick pan, add the lemon corn flour mixture and stir over the heat until it thickens and remove from heat. Add the sugar and egg yolk mixture and whisk it in, add back onto the heat and stir for a few minutes. Set aside off the heat to cool slightly before serving.
- To serve: add to the whipped cream a few table spoons of lemon curd, layer on top of the cooled and dried pavlova, add a few slices of lemon for decoration.