The three egg whites swam in their albumen pool, on my kitchen counter, for two days, just waiting for me to come up with something to do with them. They stared at me. Willing me to be creative. But I wasn’t in the mood to attempt macarons, again, not having the patience or stamina. My meringue kisses – little mounds of meringue topped with a latte cream and a Hershey’s kiss? The thought didn’t stir my imagination. In fact, my imagination was hibernating, so I did what was easy – a Pavlova!
Pavlovas take many forms—the meringue base can be studded with fresh fruit or presented simply with a topping. Checking out my pantry and finding lemon curd, heavy whipping cream and almonds, the decision was made for me. I went for the simply.
In fact, the entire Pavlova was simple to make and yet it’s always an impressive dessert if you’re offering it to company. No company was knocking on our door with forks and bibs in hand. Nope. It was just Paul and me. And those three, ugly-duckling egg whites that morphed into a gorgeous swan!
EASY PEASY LEMON CURD PAVLOVA
Mis en Place:
What You Need:
3 egg whites, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
Dash of white wine vinegar
Dash of salt
For the Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¾ jar of lemon curd (found in the jelly aisle)
Utensils and Tools:
Measuring spoons and cups
Stand mixer with whisk
Preheat oven to 350F
Baking Tray. Parchment. Pencil.
Outline a circle on the tray using the pencil. Use a plate or the bottom of a round cake tin as a guide. Don’t draw too near the edges of the tray as the meringue grows as it bakes. Turn the parchment over so the pencil side is facing the bottom. This prevents the lead from leaching into the meringue.
Egg Whites. Salt. Sugar. Corn Starch. Vinegar.
Whisk egg whites in the stand mixer until they are frothy. Add the salt. Slowly add the sugar and whisk until the meringue is stiff and glossy and no sugar crystals are apparent to the taste. Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on top and fold with the spatula.
Pour onto the baking tray and make a mound on the parchment, using the spatula to guide the construction. A slight dip in the center will hold the lemon topping.
Place the meringue into the oven and immediately reduce the heat from 350F to 300F. Bake for about 1¼ hours, or until the meringue is a dusty latte in color. There may be cracks in the surface, but not to worry.
When baked, turn off the oven, open the door, and leave the meringue in the oven to cool.
While waiting for the meringue to cool, toast the almonds until they are buttery brown.
Heavy Whipping Cream.
Whisk the cream in the stand mixer until almost set.
Remove the bowl of cream from the mixer and add the lemon curd. Fold into the cream until blended then give it a last-minute whirr in the mixer until completely blended.
Invert the meringue onto a plate and remove the parchment from the bottom. Turn the meringue over again so that the rough side is up. It’s more decorative this way!
Pour the topping onto the meringue and spread.
Add them to the topping.
Use any fresh fruit to complete your Easy Peasy Lemon Curd Pavlova! Or not.