Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries

We had an early Mother's day celebration and as per my lovely mom's request, I made Pavlova (a dessert, I should note, that she is exceptional at making).

Pavlova is a meringue cake with a light, delicate, crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center. It’s truly an exercise in varied textures. The crunch of the outside of the meringue contrasts with its marshmallow-like interior. This is achieved through slow and low cooking in the oven. The creamy tartness of the lemon curd plays off the firm sweetness of the fresh fruit topping. All of these components come together to make an enjoyable mouthful and a beautiful dessert.

Don't be put off by the long directions as it is mostly mixing. This dessert doesn't take too long to assemble and can easily be made a day or two before serving. Also, be sure to top of each piece with whipped cream – it tempers the sweetness of the meringue and adds a luxurious over-the-top richness. Enjoy!

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries
Adapted from: Gourmet, April 2009


1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites (at room temperature at least 30 minutes)
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups mixed berries (I used sliced strawberries and some blackberries)


Make the Meringue
Preheat oven to 300° F. As a guideline, measure and draw out a 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Then flip the paper over and place it on the baking sheet.

Whisk together superfine sugar and cornstarch. Then, get out your electric mixer and beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium speed, until they hold soft peaks. Add the water. The whites will loosen, but don’t worry – just beat until they hold soft peaks again.

Crank up the speed to medium-high and beat in sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Then, after all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more.

Add vinegar (this is what creates the marshmellow-effect) to the egg whites and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes.

Spoon the meringue out onto the parchment, and gently spread inside (or slightly outside) the circle you drew on the parchment. Make the outside edge of the meringue slightly higher than the center, so there’s a crater to hold the curd and fruit. Bake for about 45 minutes, until meringue is pale golden and has a crust. The inside will still be gooey.

Then, turn the oven off and prop door open a little with a wooden spoon – let it cool in oven for 1 hour.

Lemon Curd
Lightly beat yolks in a small bowl to get them ready. In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and butter. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking, then continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 1 minute. (I turned off the heat at this point so I could concentrate on not curdling the eggs.) Carefully whisk 1/4 cup lemon mixture into the egg yolks. . . Then whisk in a little bit more, and finally, whisk the yolk mixture into the rest of the lemon mixture in the saucepan. Over low heat, cook a little longer, whisking constantly, until curd is thickened (about 2 minutes – do not let boil). Pour it into a small bowl, stir in zest, and chill, surface covered with parchment, until cool (about 1 1/2 hours). If you’re going to be short on time and/or stove space, this curd can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Putting the Pavlova Together
Beat the cream until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold about 1/4 cup whipped cream into curd to lighten it up. (Don't forget this step! You don't want the lemon to be too tart). Spoon the lemon curd into the meringue shell and spread it around, then mound berries on top. Serve the remaining whip cream on the side.

Cooks' notes:
For best results, keep oven door closed as much as possible during baking.
Meringue can be made 2 days ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic. Thaw before serving.
Curd can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.


  1. Wow, yummy! I love anything with meringue. This is fabulous. xoxo

  2. I could really use a huge piece of this right now, this is gorgeous looks light and delicious just love this presentation :)

  3. Your pavlova is SO beautiful! Mine have never come out quite that pretty. Yum! I love the lemon curd with it - so perfect!

  4. How divine!
    Thanks for the recipe, darling!


  5. Love, love, love the recipes honey! I feel like rushing to the kitchen :)

  6. wow ... this looks amazing!!!
    I would probably ruin the kitchen if I tried to made it :P


  7. It sounds delicious and looks beautiful!! I love your blog, and I'm now following. Have a wonderful day!


  8. It's so very pretty. Perfect for Mother's Day! I love the red and yellow together, especially.

  9. I've never heard of this dessert before.. now on my must try list!

  10. Oh my... that looks heavenly!!!


  11. looks yummy! what a sweet treat.

  12. wow, this looks really really good!

  13. i think i could eat berries on ANYTHING. YUMM hehe

    Anna Katrina

  14. Absolutely positively yummy...I should know - I ate this very pavlova! The lemon curd was especially nice!

  15. that looks and sounds completely divine!!!

    Happy Friday! Have a great weekend! :)

  16. If I was a man, I would probably try to marry you! Everything you make looks simply wonderful and I am sure your friends and family love you for all your amazing treats!

    xox Vicky
    Bikinis & Passports

  17. Hi:)

    wooww what a cool blog you have here:)

    I love it , and it's full of recipes and I've just discovered my passion for cooking:)

    I'm going to try one of your dessert recipes this weekend. I hope it will come out well:)

    Thank you so much for the lovely comments.

    Lots of hugs

  18. Oh so delicious..

    stop by our fashion blog, we hope you love it. xx


  19. Oh my Gos!! I follow you since now!! :)

    Everything looks tasty and delightful!

    I will try the banana muffins and let you know :)


  20. How beautiful this looks! I've always wanted to try and make this. Was it hard/tricky?


  21. This looks delish!! I saw this recipe on some tv show a long time ago and always said I would try it but still haven't. Now, I just have too, thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. =)

  22. Wow! I have never seen a pavlova recipe like this. I've never heard of adding water and vinegar. Thanks a million!


Related Posts with Thumbnails