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Cherry and peach pavlova with tonka bean lemon curd

A crisp crust and soft, light inside, this pavlova is made fresh cherries and peaches, and topped with a fresh tonka bean lemon curd. 




  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone
  • 3 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 lb cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • Toasted flaked almonds, optional

Tonka Bean Lemon Curd

  • 5 lemons
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 medium 1-inch Tonka bean, grated
  • 3 whole eggs and 3 yolks, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cubed and softened to room temperature



  1. Preheat your oven to 250° F. Cover a large baking tray with baking parchment and trace a circle, about nine to 10 inches in diameter, onto the paper. Turn the paper over so the drawn-on side is facing down but still visible
  2. In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and whip to soft peaks. Reduce the speed to medium-low and with the whisk continuously running, add in the salt and the sugars a spoonful at a time, until thick and satiny. 
  3. Spread the meringue inside the drawn circle, creating a nest by making the sides a little higher than the centre. Place in the oven and bake for three hours, then switch off the oven but leave the meringue inside until completely cool: this will take about two hours. Once cool, remove from the oven and set aside. 
  4. Place the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and set it over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Cool slightly, then brush the chocolate inside the meringue nest, leaving the top and sides bare. Do this gently, as the meringue is fairly delicate. Leave to set for about two hours
  5. Place the cream and mascarpone in a large bowl and whisk for about one minute, until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-whisk, If the mixture begins to split use a spatula to fold a little more cream into the mix to bring it back together. Refrigerate until needed. 
  6. In a bowl combine the peach slices, cherries, sugar and brandy. Leave to macerate on the counter while you prepare the curd. 

Tonka Bean Lemon Curd

  1. Zest three of the lemons into a bowl with the sugar and grated tonka bean. Rub together with your fingertips to release the oils, then squeeze enough of the lemons to give one cup of juice. 
  2. Whisk the eggs into the sugar followed by the lemon juice, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. 
  3. Put in a heavy-based pan over low heat and stir continuously with a rubber whisk or wooden spoon until thickened- which should take about seven minutes. Strain into a medium bowl to remove any lumps or debris. 
  4. Whilst gently whisking, start dropping in the butter, a  tablespoon at a time, beating well at each addition until incorporated before adding in the next. When all the butter has been added continue beating until smooth. 
  5. Cover with cling wrap and allow to cool fully in the fridge before use. 


  1. Carefully spoon the cream/ mascarpone mixture into the centre of the meringue. Using a teaspoon, place dollops of the tonka bean lemon curd onto the cream and swirl using a knife or chopstick. 
  2. Top with the macerated fruit drained of liquor, and pipe drizzles of additional curd over the fruit. 
  3. Sprinkle with a few toasted, flaked almonds for a finishing touch and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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