Pavlova with Lemon Curd~

Adapted from Gourmet


1 cup superfine sugar (just process regular sugar in the food processor for a minute)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons cold water

1 teaspoon white vinegar


Curd:

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)

3 egg yolks

2 teaspoons lemon zest

(Or you can substitute 1-1 1/2 cups of your favorite jarred lemon curd)


1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


4 cups fruit of choice (mixed berries, kiwi)


Preheat oven to 300º.  Trace a 7 inch circle on one side of a piece of parchment paper, flip it over and place on a baking sheet.


Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt using a electric mixer on medium till soft peaks form.  Add water, and beat until soft peaks reform.  Increase speed to medium high and start mixing in the sugar and cornstarch, slowly, till all is incorporated.  Beat one minute longer.  Add vinegar and mix on high speed until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form (may take 5 minutes).


Carefully spread meringue on the inside of the circle on the parchment, with the edges higher than the center.  Bake till pale golden, about 45 minutes.  Turn off oven and prop door open slightly (use a heatproof spoon).  Cool for an additional hour in the oven.


The meringue can be made up to two days ahead. Just wrap well in plastic and freeze.   Defrost before serving.


To make curd, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.  Add lemon juice and butter and simmer, while whisking constantly.  When it starts to simmer, cook for one more minute, while continuing to whisk.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk egg yolks.  Very slowly add about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid while whisking constantly (if you add too quickly, the egg will cook instead of incorporating).  Return this mixture to the saucepan, reduce heat, and cook till curd is thickened (do not allow to boil).  If you end up with some bit of cooked egg in your curd, just strain with a wire sieve to remove solids. Remove pan from heat and stir in zest.  Put curd into a bowl, cover and cool about 1 1/2 hours.


Curd can also be made two days ahead, and stored covered in the refrigerator.


To assemble pavlova, place meringue on a serving plate.  Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks.  Fold 1/4 cup of whipped cream into lemon curd.  Top meringue with curd, then the remaining whipped cream, and finally with the berries/fruit.


Serves 8-10.

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