This is Australia’s most famous dessert which was created in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. It is an easy dessert to make as long as you make the meringue on a day when it is not humid. I actually made my Pavlova as an after-thought as I had leftover meringue from making mushrooms to decorate my Bûche de Noël. I also did a variation from the classic recipe which calls for a whipped cream and crème fraiche topping. To save time, I used lemon curd out of a jar!
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar, sifted
1 cup lemon curd
3-4 cups mixed, fresh red berries. (I used raspberries and pomegranate seeds)
1. Preheat oven to 225⁰F
2. Line a flat pan with parchment paper on which you’ve traced a circle using a 9-inch cake pan.
3. Use a very clean metal bowl for making the meringue and make sure your eggs are at room temperature.
4. Use either a hand or standing mixer fitted with a whip attachment for beating the egg whites.
5. Add egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar in the bowl and beat at medium speed until soft peaks are formed.
6. Gradually add two Tablespoons of the sugar to the mixture. Increase speed to high and add balance of sugar one Tablespoon at a time.
7. You can either put meringue in a pastry bag and make your circle starting from the inside moving out or live dangerously and do it free-hand by spooning the meringue mixture into the circle.
8. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven but keep the meringue inside until completely cool, around 45 minutes.
9. Peel the parchment paper off meringue round and place on serving dish.
10. Top with lemon curd leaving a half-inch border not covered.
11. Add fruit in the middle.
12. Slice and serve with extra berries, if desired.
13. If you have leftover meringue—which you will—make mini rounds to use as you wish ie: crumbled and served over ice cream; topped with your favorite jam; or to make mini-Pavlovas.
14. Meringue can be stored in an air-tight container for a week.