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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
  • 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
  • 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/160°C Fan/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/130°C Fan/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/160°C Fan/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/130°C Fan/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.

Tell us what you think

What 6 Others have said

  • I made this for the third time today for a roast dinner we had been invited to. Enough for 8 of us and spare for tomorrow lunch. I cook the pav for a little longer as I have a non fan assist oven. After a seafood starter and big beef roast with all the trimmings this is a very refreshing and zingy.

    Posted by d.wakefield on 15th April 2018
  • Perfect timing for this lovely recipe. My lemon tree, currently indoors for the winter has blessed me with 16 yellow jewels! So, I'm making everything I can think of to use them. Lemon Cranberry Loaf , Italian Ricotta Lemon Cookies, Lemon and Lavender Scottish Shortbread and for my grand finale.....Lemon Pavlova! Thank You♥️

    Posted by Simmer on 24th January 2018
  • I have had my fair share of desserts in my life (I have a terrible sweet tooth) and this is by far one of my favorite desserts EVER. I am a bit embarrassed to say but I make this as a giant pavlova for myself and make the topping as I am ready for another piece. Not at all how the recipe is intended. I saw the mini pavlovas recipe and even though those would hold up much better for personal pavlova, this meringue recipe just seemed easier. A big thank you on an easy delicious meringue. I added some raspberries on top of the lemon curd layer and before the whipped cream and then a pinch of sea salt to the toasted almonds. Highly recommend with the raspberries. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. Next step I have to work on sharing this dessert!!

    Posted by LizziemJ on 16th January 2018
  • I made this recipe for French friends on New Years Eve and had to transport it in the car, so the meringue cracked a little. I made the lemon curd as in the recipe, I made French whipped cream and the baked almonds and stored all of them seperately so that I could assemble the pavlova at the friends place. After a big meal the pavlova was a great success, everybody loved it. Thank you Nigella!

    Posted by Magdeleine on 1st January 2018
  • This is probably the best pudding I have ever eaten - not a statement I make lightly. It's the perfect mix of flavours and textures; comforting, yet light. I cannot recommend this enough - it will finish any meal beautifully and will bring sheer pudding joy in to your life. Also, if the pav breaks don't tell anyone and simply serve up lemon Eton Mess ;)

    Posted by Allyblue22 on 9th June 2017
  • I have just made this Lemon Pavlova and it turned out brilliantly. I did forget to sprinkle the almond flakes on top though. I did think the meringue was a little too sweet for my taste so will reduce it to 300g next time. The tartness of the lemon curd cuts the sickly sweetness. Nigella's cakes really are the best. I think she should publish a book with all her fabulous cakes and desserts in one book. Thank you Nigella x

    Posted by JulesnJack on 29th May 2017
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