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Published on April 9, 2020

Lemon Pavlova

The pavlova cake has been popular since it was created more than a century ago, it truly is an all-time favorite. Many varieties are known, but the Lemon Pavlova works so well because the sweetness of the pavlova is off-set by the tartness of the lemon curd, the toasted flakes almonds provide the nice contrast in texture to the cream and the lemon curd. And best of all, you don’t need to be a MasterChef to prepare this cake.

Ingredients

  • 7 egg whites
  • 375g / 13oz caster sugar
  • 2½ table spoon cornflour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 200ml / 6½fl oz double cream
  • 200ml / 6½fl oz mascarpone
  • 325g / 11½oz jar lemon curd (or use the egg yolks to make your own)
  • 50g / 1¾oz flaked almonds, toasted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until satiny peaks form, then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
  3. Sprinkle the cornflour and the salt over the meringue.
  4. Wash the lemons, and grate in the zest – a fine microplane is best for this – of 1 lemon.
  5. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  6. Gently fold until everything is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto the lined baking tray in a fat circle approximately 23cm/9in in diameter, smoothing the sides and the top with a knife or spatula. Place in the oven, then immediately reduce the temperature to 150°C/130°C Fan/Gas 2, and cook for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, but don’t leave it anywhere cold as this will make it crack too quickly. If you think your kitchen is too cool, then leave the pavlova inside the oven with the door completely open. When you’re ready to eat, turn the pavlova onto a large flat plate or board with the underside uppermost. This is so the tender marshmallow belly of the pav melds with the soft topping.
  8. Whip the cream until thick and airy but still with a soft voluptuousness about it, set it aside for a moment.
  9. Put the lemon curd into a bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen it a little. Taste the lemon curd (if it’s shop-bought) and add some lemon zest and a spritz of juice if it’s too sweet to your liking.
  10. With a light hand and a spatula, spread the lemon curd on top of the meringue base. Now top with the mascarpone and the whipped cream, peaking it rather as if it were a meringue topping. Sprinkle with the zest of the remaining lemon, followed by the flaked almonds and serve with a smile.

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