My mom is a sneaky lady. When I asked if she wanted to do an Easter feast, she insisted that I make dessert. Being that I love a good feast, I agreed. We have some Jewish heritage in my family so my mom thought it would be cool to make some traditional Jewish foods since Easter and Passover happened to be at the same time. She made (all from scratch. Of course. She's like Julia Childs or something): matzo ball soup, homemade matzo crackers, lamb, rosemary fingerling potatoes, charoset, and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. I asked her what she wanted for dessert, and she said a Pavlova. It's a perfect Spring dessert. (And probably pretty stinking appropriate for me because it's named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova.) I came up with this recipe a few days before and it turned out great. It's pretty easy too. If you have other fruit you'd like to use, go for it. In fact, whatever is in season would be appropriate and super yummy. Also, you can omit the lemon curd. Traditionally it just has a bunch of fruit, but I had the curd on hand and thought it would be good.
Berry and Lemon Curd Pavlova
About 8-10 servings
4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest from 1/2 a lemon
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Turn on medium and whip until the whites are foamy.
2. With the mixer running, pour in the sugar in a slow, steady stream. Add the cream of tartar, cornstarch, and salt. Then add the vanilla, lemon juice, and zest.
3. Turn on high and whip until stiff peaks. (here is a visual). The mixture should be glossy and smooth, and stand up on it's own.
4. Get a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and pour the mixture into the shape of a circle about 10 inches wide. Smooth over and make a sort of well in the middle (about 6 inches or so across) so that the fruit can sit in it after it's baked. Be sure not to go all the way to the bottom so the cookie sheet is exposed. There still needs to be a layer there.
5. Turn down the oven to 275 degrees, and bake for about 55-60 minutes. When done, turn off the oven and crack open the door and let it cool down for about 15-20 minutes. Take out of the oven and place in a dry area while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
1 cup each of Strawberries (quartered), Raspberries, Blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1. Toss the strawberries with the sugar until dissolved and a syrup is forming.
2. Add the other berries and gently fold until the mixture is combined. Take care not to squish the berries. ( it's so much prettier that way!)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1. Place ingredients in electric mixer, and mix until soft peaks form. The mixture should still be creamy and smooth, but be able to hold it's shape.
Lemon Curd (click for recipe)
(or, you can purchase your own)
1 heaping cup
(you'll want to do this right before you serve it)
Place the baked meringue on a serving plate. It's really delicate, so be as careful as you can. Spoon the lemon curd into the middle where the well was formed and spread evenly. Spoon the fruit mixture on top of the lemon curd.
For the whipped cream, you can either spoon all of it into the middle on the fruit, or place in a bowl and have each individual take as much as they'd like.
Cut and serve immediately. This doesn't hold up for more than a few hours.
Ballet and dessert! Bet you never thought it'd go together.