Last week I made these red velvet cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday. I made a big sign and put the cupcakes out…and then found out it was actually my CEO’s birthday. Oops. I tried to amend the sign for inclusion purposes, but he was very clearly an afterthought. After nicely calling me out at our company meeting, he commissioned me to make him a birthday pavlova.
Admittedly, I had to google what exactly a pavlova is. I had definitely heard of them, but I couldn’t actually recall seeing one ever. According to Wikipedia, pavlova is a “meringue based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.”
I came across this recipe for a pavlova with lemon curd and fresh berries and thought that sounded fantastic. I also decided to use a different lemon curd recipe since I’ve had excellent luck with it in the past.
- 4 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp. cream of tartar*
- 1 cup granulated sugar**
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Trace out a 9″ circle on parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet.
- Beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in a very clean stand mixer at medium speed.
- Once the whites lighten and begin to froth up, increase the speed to high and slowly add the sugar (in a thin stream or 1 tbsp. at a time)
- Once there are firm, shiny peaks, pile the meringue into the circle on the parchment paper.
- Bake until the meringue is firm to touch but still soft in the middle (about 50 minutes)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.***
* The original recipe called for vinegar rather than cream of tartar, as well as vanilla and corn starch. Admittedly, after having some meringue grief I just forgot about the vanilla and corn starch. And probably the salt. Oops.
** Caster sugar would probably work a bit better if you have it.
*** Some people suggest letting it cool in the oven to prevent deflation.
It’s vaguely circular
Doesn’t really look too different after baking
- 4 lemons
- 2 eggs + 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 60 g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
- Wash lemons and zest into a bowl (until you have 2 tsp. of zest).
- Cut each lemon in half and juice (until you have 2/3 cup [160 mL] of lemon juice).
- Prepare a double boiler: fill a saucepan with 1″ of water, and find a metal bowl that fits on top without contacting the water.
- Whisk together the juice and eggs. Then whisk in the sugar. Add the butter cubes and don’t stir.
- Bring the saucepan to simmering and put the bowl on top. Stir constantly with a spatula/wooden spoon until the curd has thickened. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon or be ~82 C (about 10 minutes).
- Strain the curd with a fine mesh sieve and stir in zest. Chill with plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 3 hours.
Wrapped up curd
This is how engineers bake