Lemon Curd Pavlova with Peaches & Apricots takes advantage of the beautiful fresh summer fruits and showcases it in a most delectable and stunning dessert that will impress your guests and family. [Gluten-free]
Song of the day: Just Like Fire – Pink
I have to admit, summer in Edmonton is beautiful. There is so much to do, see, experience, taste and explore. We like to squeeze every drop out of summer before a heavy blanket of the “white stuff” covers everything and hibernates us.
We go to every farmer’s market in the city, the outdoor ones, mostly, but not forgetting our lovely indoor one. We usually come back home with bags full of organic produce, including a lot of fresh fruit from one of our favorite vendors, Steve & Dan’s Fresh B.C. Fruit. Alberta does not have the right climate to grow all the gorgeous summer berries, stone fruits, melons, so we joyfully welcome their production of the season. We have handpicked some local berries, bought pounds of B.C. berries already, but it wasn’t until last week that we also got our hands on B.C. peaches and apricots. Their sunny, cheerful color greeted us last Thursday at the 124th Grand Market and we couldn’t help but take them home with us.
Another activity we love to do in the summer months is to entertain. Having friends over for dinner is a double blessing. We get to enjoy their company and I get to bake (as if I did not bake enough, already, lol). In this particular occasion, one of our friends is gluten intolerant, so a gluten-free dessert was in order. I am lucky because Loreto does most of the dinner, and I can concentrate on baking, which is my absolute passion. Since I had quite a few egg whites leftover from other desserts I made, the thought of a Pavlova was immediate. It so happened that not so long ago, Loreto and I watched an episode of Nigella’s At my Table, where she was making a beautiful and so delectable lemon pavlova. Overly sweet desserts are my nemesis, so when I saw that to counterbalance the sweetness of the meringue she added lemon zest and juice, and a lemon curd underneath a blanket of fluffy whipped cream, I was sold.
I thought that the beautiful citrus flavor in the meringue and in the lemon curd would marry well with the wonderful stone fruit we had just bought and that our friends would really enjoy the dessert.
This Lemon Curd Pavlova with Peaches & Apricots is not the easiest and fastest desserts to make, but the heart-shaped eyes and the oohs and aahs escaping from your guests’ lips will repay you of the time spent making it. I actually started the night before, making the meringue base. It cooked in 1 hour and I left it overnight in the oven with the heat off and door open. The meringue base is supposed to crack, do not worry about it, the outside meringue will just melt in your mouth and the inside will be a wonderful fluffy marshmallow. Paired with the tangy and silky lemon curd, the unsweetened, voluptuous, whipped cream, the fresh summer sweet, juicy peaches and apricots, and you have a dessert that will be hard to forget.
Want to really show your guests how much you appreciate their company? Serve them this Lemon Curd Pavlova with Peaches & Apricots and get ready for those looks and sounds!
Song of the day: Just Like Fire – PinkPrint
Lemon Curd Pavlova with Peaches & Apricots takes advantage of the beautiful fresh summer fruits and showcases it in a most delectable and stunning dessert that will impress your guests and family. Gluten-free.
Adapted from Nigella’s Lemon Pavlova
- 6 egg whites, organic free-range
- 350 g granulated sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 organic lemon, the zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 300 ml organic heavy cream
For the lemon curd:
- 2 organic lemons, juice and zest
- 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, organic, free-range
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter
For the topping:
- peaches and apricots, washed and sliced (peel on or off as you please)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand-held mixer, at medium speed, 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.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch over the meringue, then finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon and add the 2 tsp of lemon juice.
- Gently fold with movements from bottom to top, 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 an off-set spatula. (Since when it cooks it spreads some more, if you want you can make a smaller circle in diameter).
- Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300° F (150° C), and cook for 1 hour.
- Turn off the oven, and remove from the oven, leaving it to cool where it is not too cold or it will crack too quickly. I leave the pavlova inside the oven, heat off, with the door completely open, overnight. The next day I turn the pavlova upside down onto a large flat plate or board (I follow Nigella’s suggestion to do this just before I sit down to the meal and let it stand till dessert time).
- Whip the cream until thick and airy. Set it aside for a moment.
- With a spatula, gently spread the lemon curd on top of the meringue base. Then, always gently, top with the whipped cream.
- With a gentle hand, arrange the sliced peaches and apricots on top of the pavlova. Serve and enjoy!
For the lemon curd:
- Beat the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together.
- Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy-based pan, and when melted stir in the sugar-egg mixture, the lemon juice, and finely grated zest. Keep cooking gently, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Pour into a bowl (or a jar). Keep in the fridge until time to use. (I cover the top of the curd with plastic like I would do with my pastry cream, so it doesn’t dry out).
The meringue base can be made 1 day ahead. I made it the night before and left it in the oven, with the door open, overnight.
If you do not want to make your own lemon curd, you can use a jar of store-bought lemon curd, adjusting it for acidity after a taste test.
The Cook Time does not include the cooking of the lemon curd.
The prep time does not include the resting in the oven overnight.
Assemble the Pavlova about 1 hour before serving.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 1-2 days.