I’ve had lemons on the brain lately. I mean, it’s hard not to with a backyard lemon tree brimming with possibilities in the form of bright yellow orbs of deliciousness.
Coming from the midwest where a lemon means a trip to the grocery store, I just can’t bear to waste a single one. Our kitchen has been positively overflowing with lemon desserts these days. So much so that I had to invite some friends over to help me eat them all, including the mini pavlovas with lemon curd recipe you find below. But that’s a story for a different day or a different blog post at least!
Have you ever had Pavlovas? If not, you are seriously missing out! Pavlovas are baked meringue that has a deliciously crisp outer crust and a perfectly marshmallowy inner. They are easy to make and absolutely impressive when served with any number of sauces, curds, and fruits. That means they are easy to do seasonally if you are looking for a dessert for your next dinner party! Pavlovas can be one large meringue that is cut up to serve, or you can take a page from my book and make individual mini Pavlovas for each of your guests.
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Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Curd
Pavlovas are little puffs of baked meringue. They are lightly crunchy on the outside and soft and marshmallowy on the inside. These mini pavlovas are topped with the best lemon curd recipe you will ever find.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Dessert
For the pavlovas:
- 2/3 cup superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature for 30 minutes
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
For the lemon curd: (makes extra)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch table salt
- Berries for serving
Make the pavlovas:
- Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Beat the whites and salt using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add water (whites will loosen) and beat until whites again hold soft peaks. Increase speed to medium-high and add the sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing 1 minute after all sugar is added. Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
- Using a spoon or a spatula drop meringue on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to make a crater to put the curd and fruit in.
- Bake at 300°F using convection oven or on the middle rack of a normal oven for 45 minutes, until pale golden and a thin crust forms (inside will still be soft). Turn oven off and prop the door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let cool for one hour. Serve the same day with lemon curd (recipe below) and fresh berries. Meringue can also be frozen for up to two days if wrapped well in plastic wrap. Thaw before serving.
Make the lemon curd:
- Heat lemon juice over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolk in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the sugar. While whisking, slowly pour hot lemon juice into the eggs. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture registers 170 degrees and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in butter. Once melted, stir in cream, vanilla, and salt.
- Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and pour over pavlovas. The curd is able to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, just cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Pavlovas Adapted from Epicurious