Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries

This recipe is extremely similar to a recipe I made last June. The only change is the meringue portion of the recipe. The original was scaled for a small serving whereas this version serves a larger crowd. Apparently, pavlovas should have passion fruit and mine had none, but it was still Australian approved. Making this has made me more impatient for Quebec berries. I can't wait for summer.

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries (adapted from Desserts for Breakfast and epicurious)

1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites at room temperature 30 minutes
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
Lemon Curd
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
pinch of salt
3 Tbspn unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
zest of one lemon, freshly grated
1 cup heavy whipping or manufacturing cream, cold
2 Tbspn powdered sugar
Fruit Topping
4 cups berries (I used strawberries and blackberries)
lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle. Trace an approximately 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment over and put on a baking sheet.
2. Whisk together superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
3. Beat whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add water (whites will loosen) and beat until whites again hold soft peaks.
4. Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more.
5. Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer ... mine took less time).
6. Gently spread meringue inside circle on parchment, making edge of meringue slightly higher than center (the "crater" is for curd and fruit). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes (inside will still be marshmallow-like).
7. Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour.
Lemon curd
8. Prepare a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.
9. In a pan over low heat or using a double boiler, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolk, egg, salt, and cut butter. Cook until the butter is completely melted and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (patience!!).
10. Remove the lemon curd from heat and strain through the prepared sieve. Mix in the freshly grated lemon zest. Allow the curd to cool completely.
11. In a chilled bowl, whip the cream just until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the powdered sugar and then quickly fold in the cooled lemon curd, being careful not to overmix. Use immediately.
12. Meanwhile, mix berries with sugar and lemon juice to taste. You can allow them to rest in the refrigerator for a bit.
13. Top meringue with a generous helping of lemon curd cream and macerated berries.

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