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Lemon Pavlova

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
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Introduction

Ever since my first pav in How To Eat, I have been something of a pavaholic. For me, acidity is key. So naturally, a lemon pavlova made perfect sense.

You will note there are a lot of flaked almonds required: that is because they are the topping of the pav and not mere decoration; the crunch they offer is essential.

I make this with a jar of shop-bought lemon curd, but obviously I wouldn’t stop you from making your own. Should you want, you can adapt my Passionfruit Curd recipe, omitting the passionfruit and adding the finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons to the butter at the melting stage.

Ever since my first pav in How To Eat, I have been something of a pavaholic. For me, acidity is key. So naturally, a lemon pavlova made perfect sense.

You will note there are a lot of flaked almonds required: that is because they are the topping of the pav and not mere decoration; the crunch they offer is essential.

I make this with a jar of shop-bought lemon curd, but obviously I wouldn’t stop you from making your own. Should you want, you can adapt my Passionfruit Curd recipe, omitting the passionfruit and adding the finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons to the butter at the melting stage.

Lemon Pavlova
Photo by Keiko Oikawa

Ingredients

Serves: 8-12

Metric Cups
  • 6 egg whites (feel free to use egg whites from a carton, such as Two Chicks, if wished)
  • 375 grams caster sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 50 grams flaked almonds
  • 300 millilitres double cream
  • 325 grams jar lemon curd (see intro)
  • 6 egg whites (feel free to use egg whites from a carton, such as Two Chicks, if wished)
  • 1¾ cups superfine sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1⅓ cups jar lemon curd (see intro)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
  2. Sprinkle the cornflour over the meringue, then grate in the zest – a fine microplane is best for this – of 1 lemon and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  3. Gently fold until everything is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto the lined baking tray in a fat circle approximately 23cm/10inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and the top with a knife or spatula.
  4. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300°F, and cook for 1 hour.
  5. 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 – I do this before I sit down to the meal in question and let it stand till pudding time. This is so the tender marshmallow belly of the pav melds with the soft topping.
  6. Toast the flaked almonds, by frying them in a dry pan over a medium to high heat until they have started to colour. Shake the pan at regular intervals and don’t let them burn. This doesn’t take more than a minute or so. When they’re done, remove to a cold plate so that they don’t carry on cooking.
  7. Whip the cream until thick and airy but still with a soft voluptuousness about it, and set it aside for a moment.
  8. 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.
  9. With a light hand, a glad heart and a spatula, spread the lemon curd on top of the meringue base. Now top with the whipped cream, peaking it rather as if it were a meringue topping. Sprinkle with the zest of the remaining lemon – you can grate this finely or coarsely as you wish – followed by the flaked almonds, and serve triumphantly.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
  2. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the meringue, then grate in the zest – a fine microplane is best for this – of 1 lemon and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  3. Gently fold until everything is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto the lined baking tray in a fat circle approximately 23cm/10inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and the top with a knife or spatula.
  4. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300°F, and cook for 1 hour.
  5. 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 – I do this before I sit down to the meal in question and let it stand till pudding time. This is so the tender marshmallow belly of the pav melds with the soft topping.
  6. Toast the slivered almonds, by frying them in a dry pan over a medium to high heat until they have started to colour. Shake the pan at regular intervals and don’t let them burn. This doesn’t take more than a minute or so. When they’re done, remove to a cold plate so that they don’t carry on cooking.
  7. Whip the cream until thick and airy but still with a soft voluptuousness about it, and set it aside for a moment.
  8. 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.
  9. With a light hand, a glad heart and a spatula, spread the lemon curd on top of the meringue base. Now top with the whipped cream, peaking it rather as if it were a meringue topping. Sprinkle with the zest of the remaining lemon – you can grate this finely or coarsely as you wish – followed by the slivered almonds, and serve triumphantly.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Meringue base can be made 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Curd can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and store in fridge until needed. Stir before using.

Almonds can be toasted a week ahead. When cold, store in an airtight container at room temperature until needed.

Assemble the pavlova about 1 hour ahead of serving.

STORE NOTE: Leftovers can be stored in fridge, loosely covered with clingfilm, for up to 1 day.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Meringue base can be made 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Curd can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and store in fridge until needed. Stir before using.

Almonds can be toasted a week ahead. When cold, store in an airtight container at room temperature until needed.

Assemble the pavlova about 1 hour ahead of serving.

STORE NOTE: Leftovers can be stored in fridge, loosely covered with clingfilm, for up to 1 day.

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