Lemon Curd Pavlova


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**


  1. Preheat oven to 250F. 
  2. Trace out a 9″ circle on parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet. 
  3. Beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in a very clean stand mixer at medium speed. 
  4. 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)
  5. Once there are firm, shiny peaks, pile the meringue into the circle on the parchment paper. 
  6. Bake until the meringue is firm to touch but still soft in the middle (about 50 minutes) 
  7. 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. 

So fluffy!

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


  1. Wash lemons and zest into a bowl (until you have 2 tsp. of zest).
  2. Cut each lemon in half and juice (until you have 2/3 cup [160 mL] of lemon juice).
  3. Prepare a double boiler: fill a saucepan with 1″ of water, and find a metal bowl that fits on top without contacting the water. 
  4.  Whisk together the juice and eggs. Then whisk in the sugar. Add the butter cubes and don’t stir. 
  5. 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).
  6. 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

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