Makes 4 small pavlovas.
- Prep time: 20min
- Cook time: 1h 10min + cooling time
- Total time: 1h 30min
- Difficulty: Basic
Instead of whipped cream and fresh fruit on top, try filling the crispy and chewy meringues with tangy lemon curd and topping it with sweet and nutty coconut whipped cream. The flavors complement each other perfectly.
For the meringues.
- 3 egg whites
- 165g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. On a sheet of baking paper, draw four circles about 10cm in diameter. Place on a baking sheet, pencil side down. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric whisk.
Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. After adding all of the sugar, whisk for another 2-3 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
The finished product should be thick and glossy. Check that the sugar has completely dissolved and that the meringue is not grainy. Fold in the cornstarch with a spatula, then add the lemon juice and fold through.
Using a palette knife, spoon the meringue onto the baking paper and shape it into circles, using the penciled mark as a guide. Make a well in the center to hold the filling.
Preheat the oven to 120°C and bake the pavlovas for 50-60 minutes, or until they are dry and crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in it for about 2 hours, with the door ajar. Please do not take the meringues out of the oven while they are still warm, as they will cool too quickly and crack and collapse.
For the lemon curd.
- 3 egg yolks
- 70g caster sugar
- zest of 3 lemons
- 60ml lemon juice
- 30g butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the water just simmering.
In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the butter. Set the bowl over, but not touching, the simmering water and whisk constantly for 10-15 minutes, or until the yolks thicken and the mixture forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the bowl.
Remove the bowl from the simmering water and whisk in the butter one piece at a time until completely melted and incorporated before adding the next. Transfer the curd to a clean bowl. To prevent skin from forming, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until completely cool.
For the coconut whipped cream.
- 1 can of coconut milk
Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight to separate the coconut cream from the oil. Scrape only the thick coconut cream from the top half of the can into a bowl and whip with a hand-held mixer until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream.
- candied lemon slices
- toasted coconut
Fill the meringues with lemon curd, then top with coconut whipped cream and decorate with candied lemon and toasted coconut.
Light, delicate, sweet, crispy, marshmallowy, creamy, silky, tangy, and nutty.
Pavlova. It’s unclear. It employs extremes and makes them work. It’s pure magic. It’s similar to a French macaron, but better. Furthermore, which is always a plus for desserts.
The contrast of textures, combined with a delicate balance of sweet and tart notes, gets my heart racing and my stomach grumbling. That is what I find most appealing about this elegant and timeless dessert.