Pavlova with Berries

Yield: 8 servings

This dessert is high impact and easy for entertaining. The meringues and lemon curd can be made ahead of time and assembled at the last minute.

Ingredients for Meringues:

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup organic white cane sugar

Ingredients for Lemon Curd:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup organic white cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • dash of salt
  • 2 6-ounce packages fresh berries

Procedure:

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place 4 egg whites and cream of tartar into a clean, dry, stainless-steel or glass mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Once you’ve achieved some volume, gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stuff peaks form.
  3. Divide egg white mixture into 8 even dollops on baking sheets. Shape meringues into “nests” using the back of a spoon to create a crater in the center of each meringue (where the lemon curd and berries will eventually go).
  4. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, rotating the baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the baking sheets in the oven, with the door closed, for two hours. Remove from the oven.
  5. For the lemon curd, whisk the whole eggs and 1 egg white in a medium bowl. Secure the bowl on the counter by making a nest out of a dish towel and setting the bowl on top. You will need to be able to whisk without holding the bowl it in the next step.
  6. Heat 1/2 cup sugar, lemon rind, juice, corn starch, and salt over medium-high heat in a small, heavy saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Gradually (very gradually), add the hot juice mixture to the egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. (This is called “tempering” the eggs. Basically, you are bringing them up to temperature with the juice mixture by adding it slowly. Otherwise you’d have scrambled eggs.)
  7. Return mixture to saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until thick – about 2 minutes. Spoon curd into a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. Divide the lemon curd evenly among the 8 meringues. Top with berries. Garnish with mint sprigs or edible flowers.

Adapted from Cooking Light

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