I am indebted to Mary Berry of The Great British Bakeoff for this recipe. It is very light, and the lemon makes it a refreshing end to a holiday meal with family and friends.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

This is a lovely dessert that really does taste heavenly and looks very impressive too. The one thing I like about it is that you can prepare a lot in advance. The candied lemon peel can easily be made the day before and the lemon curd a few days before. The meringue is best made on the day you wish to serve it but that takes very little time to prepare. Then all there is to do is to mix the whipped cream into the lemon curd and assemble everything.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova
Prepares: 8–10 servings (picture shows 4–6)
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 2 hours or over night for the candied lemon zest
  • Cooking time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the candied lemon zest
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp) plus extra for coating
  • 2 lemons

  • For the meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • 340g (12 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the lemon curd filling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)

  • 2 lemons at room temperature (to add to the 2 reserved from making the candied lemon zest)
  • 225g (8 oz) butter (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping cream (2 cups)

  • To serve
  • 30 chocolate mini eggs

  • Equipment
  • Piping bag, fitted with a rose nozzle


  1. Method
  2. For the candied lemon zest
  3. (Can be made up to 24 hours ahead)

  4. Peel the zest from two lemons and cut into thin strips. Reserve the lemons for their juice for the lemon curd.

  5. Put the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Then add the zest and boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes. Drain on parchment paper, then roll in the extra sugar until they are well coated. Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or over night.

  6. For the meringue
  7. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  8. Draw a 25cm (10 inch) circle on a sheet of baking parchment. With the drawn side down, place on a baking tray.


  9. Add the egg whites to a bowl and whisk until stiff but before they get to peak stage. Use an electric hand-whisk or a free-standing mixer. Then gradually add the sugar a spoonful at a time while still whisking on the maximum speed until the mixture is stiff and shiny, and stands in peaks. 


  10. Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Gently stir this into the meringue mixture. 


  11. Take half of the meringue and spread onto the baking parchment within the lines of the drawn circle. With the remaining half of meringue fill the piping bag and carefully pipe 10 separate nests equally around the edge of the meringue base. 


  12. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, turn the heat down to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2) and bake for 1½–2 hours. The pavlova will be a pale cream colour and will come off the paper easily when ready. Begin to check after an hour until it has reached this stage. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova in the oven to become cold. 


  13. For the lemon curd
  14. (The lemon curd can also be made ahead of time and once cooled can be refrigerated, covered with cling film, until needed. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to seven days.)

  15. Squeeze the juice from all 4 lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield 12 tablespoons (¾ cup))

  16. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

  17. Gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted and combined.

  18. Continue stirring until it the mixture starts to thicken. Patience is needed for this as this stage can take up to 20 minutes before it starts to thicken. It will thicken suddenly, so don’t give up! Remove from the heat and leave to cool. It will thicken further as it cools.

  19. To assemble
  20. Once the lemon curd has cooled completely, pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until really thick. Then add it to the lemon curd, gently swirling it through. Spoon a little into each of the nests. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).

  21. Finally, place three chocolate mini-eggs in each of the nests and then sprinkle the candied zest in the middle of the pavlova creating a mound.

Updated: March 25, 2017

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