Easter Lemon Pavlova

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/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 (plus the 2 reserved from making the candied lemon zest)
  • 225g (8 oz) butter, cubed (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping cream (2 cups)

  • To serve
  • 30 chocolate mini eggs

  • You will also need a 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 in the lemon curd.)

  5. Lay a piece of parchment ready on the work surface and spoon over the extra sugar for coating.

  6. Now dissolve the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

  7. Add the zest and gently boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes.

  8. Drain the zest and tip onto the parchment paper. Then toss in the extra sugar until each one is well coated.

  9. Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or overnight.


  10. For the meringue
  11. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2)

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


  13. 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.

  14. 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. 


  15. Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Then gently stir this into the meringue. 


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


  17. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 1½–2 hours. The pavlova will be a pale cream colour and will lift off the paper easily when ready. Begin to check periodically after 1¼ hours until it has reached this stage. Then turn off the oven but leave the pavlova on the oven shelf, with the door slightly ajar, until cold. 


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

  20. Squeeze the juice from the four lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield ¾ cup.)

  21. 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.

  22. Now gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted.

  23. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. It should resemble pouring cream and coat the back of a spoon. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool. It will thicken further on cooling.

  24. To assemble
  25. 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.

  26. Spoon a little into each nest. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).

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

Updated: April 22, 2019

Individual Banoffee Pavlovas

Individual Banoffee Pavlovas

 

These scrumptious pavlovas have a base of meringue topped with cream, toffee sauce and sliced bananas, then decorated with chocolate swirls.

 

Individual Banoffee Pavlovas
Prepares: 4 pavlovas
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar

  • For the cream topping
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)

  • For the banoffee topping
  • 90ml (3 fl oz) Dulce de Leche (a creamy caramel sauce) (⅓ cup)
  • 2 bananas

  • For the chocolate swirls
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/dark chocolate

  • You will also need a small disposable piping bag.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1)

  3. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle over the cornflour/cornstarch and vinegar and whisk in.

  4. Using the meringue from the whisk, dab a little in each corner of a large baking tray/sheet. Now line it with baking parchment. (The meringue will keep the lining in place).

  5. Then spoon four separate large spoonfuls of meringue onto the paper and flatten to make circles about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick.

  6. Bake for 1¼ hours, until the meringues can be lifted off the paper easily. Leave to cool.

  7. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place half in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water. When melted remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the consistency is smooth. Set aside to cool a little.

  8. Next, whip the cream until it is thick, then gently spread over the meringues.

  9. Measure the Dulce de Leche into a small bowl. Now slice the bananas and add to the bowl. Stir to coat the bananas with the caramel and spoon over the cream layer.

  10. Spoon the chocolate into the piping bag and snip off the end to give a small opening. Pipe a zig-zag pattern over the bananas.

  11. They can be chilled for up to one hour. Any longer and the bananas will start to discolour.

Updated: August 1, 2018

Strawberry Pavlova

Strawberry Pavlova

 

This gorgeous dessert was allegedly first made in Australia in 1935 for the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova. This version has a twist by adding framboise to the strawberries and introducing crème fraîche to the whipped cream to reduce the richness of the cream.

 

Strawberry Pavlova
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tbsp framboise (raspberry liqueur)
  • 284ml (9 fl oz) carton double/whipping or heavy cream (1⅛ cups)
  • 180ml crème fraîche (⅞ cup)


  1. Method
  2. Draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle on a piece of baking parchment. Turn it over and lay on a baking tray/sheet.

  3. Preheat the oven to 130°C (250°F) (gas ½).

  4. Add the egg whites to a grease-free bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. (You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out!)

  5. Then add the sugar one spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

  6. Next, sprinkle over the cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Whisk briefly, just enough to combine everything. The meringue will soften a little.

  7. Put a dab of meringue in the four corners of the baking sheet and press the baking parchment down. (This will prevent it from slipping.) Now, using a metal spoon, spoon the meringue evenly within the marked circle. Then, using the back of a spoon, make a slight dip in the centre of the meringue which will hold the strawberries. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringue should be firm at the edges and slightly soft in the centre. Leave to cool.

  8. Meanwhile, wash the strawberries, gently pat dry and hull. Halve any that are large so they are all fairly equal in size. Place them in a large bowl and add the framboise. Gently toss together until the strawberries are coated and then leave to marinate.

  9. Once the meringue has cooled, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Now, beat the crème fraîche, which will loosen its stiff consistency, and then gently fold into the cream.

  10. Carefully peel the baking parchment from the meringue and place it on a serving plate. Add three quarters of the strawberries to the cream mixture and, just using a few strokes, gently fold through. Spoon into the centre of the pavlova. Now decorate the top with the reserved strawberries and drizzle over any strawberry juice.

  11. Serve immediately.

Updated: July 31, 2018

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas

 

These individual pavlovas are a mix of vanilla and chocolate meringue which is then covered in whipped cream, topped with fresh raspberries and dusted with cocoa.

 

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas
Prepares: 4 pavlovas
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 7g (¼ oz) cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 14g (½ oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ tbsp)
  • 115g (4 oz) raspberries (1 cup)

  • You will also need a large baking sheet/tray lined with baking parchment.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Then gradually add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition until stiff. Add the vanilla and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy.

  4. Using a metal spoon, spoon a third of the meringue into another bowl and sift over 2 teaspoons of the cocoa powder. Gently fold the cocoa into the meringue.

  5. Spoon the cocoa meringue over the white meringue and then, using the metal spoon, fold together once to create a rippled effect.

  6. Now put a little dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheet/tray and top with the baking parchment. (This will help the lining stay in place.) Spoon the meringue into four mounds on the baking parchment and bake for 1 hour and fifteen minutes, until the meringue is crisp on the outside and peels away easily from the parchment. Cool on a wire rack.

  7. Whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form and spoon over the meringues. Top with the raspberries and then dust with the reserved cocoa powder using a small sieve.

Updated: July 23, 2018