Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Curd

Serves 10-12


Total bliss. Period.

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

6 large egg whites at room temperature

Pinch salt

Lemon curd

1/2 C butter

3 lemons

2/3 C sugar

6 egg yolks

1 egg

Garnish with fresh fruit, whipped cream

Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°. Pour the vanilla and vinegar (if using) into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.

In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites, and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes. I love the almost electric tendrils that are left on the whisk when the meringue is ready.


Pipe or spoon the meringue into 10-12 large round mounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. I had neither of these, so I improvised with cooking spray and some cornstarch; worked fine. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked. I had a little trouble with this too—it was just so sticky! No matter what I did I ended up with a peak, and I was worried about them getting too spread out, so I just gave up. Ultimately not a problem. I could only fit 8 on a cookie sheet, so I put the rest in small ramekins. I think next time I’ll just do two cookie sheets and switch their position half-way through the cooking time.


Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white -- not tan-colored or cracked. The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency.


Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. (I did not remove the meringues in the ramekins.)

To make the lemon curd: mince the lemon zest, juice the lemons into medium sauce pan. Over medium-low heat melt the butter with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Whisk the egg yolks and egg together. Once the sugar is dissolved and the butter melted, slowly whisk the eggs into the sauce pan. Continue to stir until the curd becomes thick. Pour into a container and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Chill until serving.

To assemble the pavlovas: if you weren’t successful at making an indentation, just crush the top a little to make space for the curd. Spoon a few tablespoons of curd onto the meringue, top with fresh fruit (tonight we had sliced mango, strawberry, banana and kiwi) and whipped cream.


No comments:

Post a Comment