Lemon Pavlova with lemon and elderflower cream, fresh strawberries and almond flakes

 

Lemon Pavlova with lemon and elderflower cream, fresh strawberries and almond flakes

It was my first attempt on Pavlova. It was always one of my fav desserts but I've never tried to make it by my own. For this one I used Nigella's recipe and although the flavour was great, I wasnt 100% happy about the texture of the meringue. It was breaking down so easily, and I really struggled to cut it nicely. But my guests were very pleased with this treat anyway.

But the true star of this desser was this amazing lemon and elderflower curd. Since it was quite tart and strong I was affraid it will be too heavy for my meringue. That is why I mixed with whipped cream and mascarpone to get nice and fluffy cloud as a topping. With fresh strawberries and almonds it was just heaven!


Makes 8-10 servings


Ingredients
For the meringue:
  • 6 egg whites
  • 375 grams caster sugar
  • 2,5 tsp cornstarch
  • lemon- finely grated zest + 2 tsp lemon juice
For the curd:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup elderflower cordial
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 150 grams butter, diced
For the top layer:
  • 250 grams mascarpone
  • 300 grams whipping cream
  • 3-4 lemon & elderflower curd
  • sugar, if needed to taste
  • fresh strawberries
  • 50 grams almond flakes, toasted on a dry pan
Instructions
  1. For the meringue:

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (no fan) and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Draw a 25cm diameter circle on it.


    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 cornflour over the meringue, then grate in the zest of 1 lemon and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.


    Gently fold until everything is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto the lined baking tray in a fat circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a knife or spatula. Try to make edges a little bit higher than the center of the circle.


    Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C  and cook for 1 hour.


    Remove from the oven and leave to cool, but don’t leave it anywhere cold as this will make it crack too quickly.


     When cooled down completely, put the pavlova onto a large flat plate or board and prepare the topping.


    For the lemon and elderflower curd:

    Put the sugar into a medium  steel saucepan.


    Add lemon juice, elderflower cordial and finely grated the zest of 2 lemons.


    Add the soft butter in pieces and the lightly beaten egg yolks. Place the smaller saucepan into a larger one, partly filled with hot water (au bain marie/double boiler/water bath) and simmer until the cream begins to thicken. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Never allow the curd to boil! it should only simmer very gently.


    Ladle the lemon curd into perfectly clean jam jars. Close the lids tightly and store in the fridge.


    As this curd is quite tart and heavy and my dessert was mainy for kids I mixed it with whipped cream and mascarpone and got  lighter and more delicate cloud.


    Put this delicate cream on your meringue. Top it with fresh strawberries and toasted almond flakes





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