Sunday, July 1, 2012

Berry Pavlova with Lemon Curd

Happy almost 4th of July to all of you back at home. If you're in need of an easy, but impressive festive dessert, a pavlova is the way to go. It's even easier if you own a Kitchen Aid or hand mixed to whisk the egg whites. I actually helped my sister make this a while back, but since I'm the only American where I live and I'm going to be working on the 4th, I'm not going to be having much of a celebration this year. If you want to make this pavlova, keep in mind that you need to bake the meringues the night before you assemble the dessert (or early in the morning if you need it in the evening). You could always just make pavlova nests if you want a smaller, individual desserts. My sister and I doubled this recipe so we could layer the pavlovas. Enjoy the BBQs and picnics all over the US.

Adapted from Joy of Baking
Makes one 9" pavlova

For the meringue:
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

For the topping:
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
berries of choice
lemon curd

Preheat your oven to 250ºF/130ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 7" circle on it and turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg white at medium speed until soft peaks form. Start adding the sugar on tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat on high until the egg white form stiff, glossy peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the lemon juice and cornstarch and fold in with a rubber spatula. Even spread the mixture into the boundaries of the circle, trying to make the edges as smooth as possible.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the outside is dry and a pale cream color. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly propped open (I usually leave a wooden spoon wedged in the door). Allow meringue to cool completely in the oven. It's easiest to make this at night and allow it to cool overnight.

When you're ready to serve, gently place the meringue on your serving plate. Whisk the whipped cream with the sugar until stiff. Place the whipped cream on top of the meringue and spread so it's even. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon curd on top of the cream and spread as evenly as you can (it won't be perfect and feel free to use more if you want it extra lemony). Top with berries of choice. If making a double layered pavlova, place the second meringue on top of the berries and repeat the layering steps. Serve immediately (it will get soggy if you make this ahead of time). Pin It Now!

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