Lemon meringue pavlova

By Camille Moore
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This is one showstopper of a dessert. Not only does this recipe produce an ethereally fluffy cloud of sweet and tart goodness, but it’s also the model of efficiency in that it leaves you with zero leftover egg yolks – unlike typical meringue situations which leave you scrambling online to find a recipe requiring for four egg yolks. Here we use the reserved yolks to make a luxurious, tart lemon curd which beautifully balances the sweet, marshmallow-y meringue. 

YIELDS
1 20-CENTIMETER PAVLOVA

Ingredients

Pavlova:

  • 4 egg whites, large size, room temperature (yolks reserved)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, zest only (reserve balance for curd)
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Lemon curd:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (approximately 3 lemons)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature

Chantilly cream:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (35% m.f.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Fresh blueberries, to garnish (optional)

Directions

Pavlova:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  2. Wipe a large mixing bowl with a paper towel dampened lightly with white vinegar – this is to ensure that there’s no oily residue in the bowl, otherwise the white won’t whip.
  3. Separate eggs, working one at a time to crack and separate each egg placing the yolks into a heat-safe glass or metal (but preferably glass) mixing bowl, and the whites into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) – we do this because we don’t want any shell pieces or bits of yolk in the mix. 
  4. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed or a whisk and some elbow grease to whip the whites until they’re foamy and glossy peaks form. Add the lemon zest to the sugar and, with the mixer running, gradually add the sugar to the whites and whip until the mixture has shiny, stiff peaks.  Add the vinegar and sprinkle the cornstarch over top – use a spatula to gently incorporate.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment and trace a 20 centimeter circle onto the paper. Flip the paper over so that the unmarked side faces up and scoop the meringue onto the centre of the circle. Use a spatula to spread and evenly fill the circle.
  6. Bake in centre of oven 1-1/2 hours. Next, turn off oven and leave its door closed as the meringue completely cools for one hour more. It’ll be crisp on the outside and chewy like a marshmallow on the inside.

Lemon curd:

  1. Add the reserved egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, and salt to a small, heavy-bottom saucepan. Whisk a few minutes until blended and the mixture slightly lightens in colour. Then stir in the lemon juice to combine.
  2. Transfer saucepan to stove and set over low heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture starts to bubble lightly and thickens. You’ll know it’s finished cooking when you dip a wooden spoon into the curd, drag your finger through the coating and the line you drew stays intact. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Add the cold butter cubes and whisk to incorporate.
  4. Strain the lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. 
  5. Cover the lemon curd by pressing plastic wrap directly onto its surface to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until cold. 

Chantilly cream:

  1. Whip cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until firm peaks.
  2. To serve, top the pavlova with the cooled lemon curd, then a mound of Chantilly cream and a smattering of fresh blueberries. Cut into wedges and plate, or place in the centre of your table and invite everyone to dig in.

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