I recently polled my Facebook page for ideas of summer recipes that are light and refreshing. I got some wonderful feedback and feel newly fueled with inspiration to get me through the summer months. The general consensus was lots of summer fruits, berries and of course bright and refreshing lemon!
I’ve been wanting to make pavlova again with a new twist, as it is in my opinion one of the loveliest and lightest desserts out there. I had a vision of the crisp, chewy and airy meringue with tart lemon curd and fluffy whipped cream- which kinda sounded like the best part of lemon meringue pie without a crust. I remember the Berry Pavlova I made last year being so light that I almost ate it all myself. I remedied that by breaking this one down into smaller portions. 6 perfectly sized desserts that are so light & bright they scream nothing but summer.
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it’s not wasteful. I can easily freeze any egg whites I have leftover from yolk-heavy recipes, but yolks are more often wasted as they don’t keep well and are less easy to simply throw into your omelet. (PS- Extra yolks in scrambled eggs are not tasty in my opinion!) This recipe uses 4 whole eggs- 4 whites for the meringue and 4 for the lemon curd. I love that kind of kitchen logic! :)
PS- I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but NYC had the most glorious weather yesterday. I woke up feeling so bright and sunny which is what inspired me to make these. Don’t you like when your kitchen projects mirror your mood? :)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup superfine sugar*
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- In a small saucepan combine the yolks, lemon juice and zest, salt and sugar. Whisk together and then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, until mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time.
- Pour curd into a fine mesh sieve, straining out any chunks or large zest bits. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled completely.
- Preheat oven to 275F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. (If desired,) trace 6- 3 inch circles spaced evenly among the sheet and flip the parchment over so the writing is facing down.
- Place the egg whites in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a (very clean) whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Let the machine continue to run as you gradually add the sugar- one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat, raising the speed to high if needed, until stiff glossy peaks are formed.
- Sprinkle the corn starch, vinegar and vanilla over the meringue and gently fold them in to combine.
- Now gently spread the meringue in the circles on the parchment to make circular bases. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center so you have a very small well in the middle.
- Bake for about 40-55 minutes, or until the meringue rounds are a pale pink egg-shell type color. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringues cool completely. As the meringue cools, it will crack slightly.
- Whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and sugar and continue beating until you get stiff peaks.
- Top each cooled meringue round with a large spoonful of lemon curd and spread it to the edges. Add a large dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!