Lemon Blueberry Pavlovas

Fresh, bright, and vibrant flavors take center stage in this lighter than air dessert. Everyone will adore having their very own individual Lemon Blueberry Pavlova!

Lemon Blueberry Pavlovas by Cakewalker

Readers know I typically live with cake creations long before they materialize. Sometimes the images are very clear, others foggy and elusive―in all cases the vision resides in my mind for weeks up to months. Such is the case for Mother’s Day where I’ve been mulling over a concept for Mrs. W. There were two schemes ebbing and flowing, and a set of flavor profiles to work with. The dessert was to cap off a barbecue dinner after a day of play in the sun.

Then I saw the May cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It caught Mrs. W’s eye too. Mounded pillows of pure white meringue seemed to hover off the semi-gloss paper. Nestled in the middle were fresh blueberries and blackberries atop a gorgeous golden yellow topping, and then finished with a sprinkling of fresh mint. The colors were so striking and attractive; a declaration that spring had arrived.

Drawing pavlova guides by CakewalkerThe rim of a martini glass made a nice sized guide for the pavlova portions. The circumference was traced onto an under sheet of parchment, and then a clean sheet is placed on top. A dab of corn syrup painted on the traced bottom sheet helps to keep the top sheet in place so it won’t move around too much when dropping the dollops of meringue.

 

Pavlova mounds by CakewalkerUsing an offset spatula will knock down and smooth out the meringue dollops; spread to within a quarter-inch of the round guide perimeter. Use a large tablespoon to indent a shallow bowl in the center of each pavlova―in doing so, the edges of the meringue will continue to spread to the circle’s edge. Don’t be too tidy in this step, leaving swirls and spatula marks in the meringue gives the pavlova a whimsical, cloud-like appearance.

The desserts gracing the publication were pavlovas―a lighter than air dish named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Lovers of French macarons will draw loving parallels of the cookie to the crunchy meringue exterior of the pavlova with its chewy interior. The dollop of lemon curd and the fresh berries did me in, compelling me to change menu plans for our special occasion.

The good thing about dreaming up cakes, whether clearly planned or foggy, is they can stay shelved in the archives of my mind until their day to materialize.

 

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova by CakewalkerAdapted from Better Homes and Gardens, May 2016

Lemon Blueberry Pavlovas

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Eight individual portions

Serving Size: One portion

Lemon Blueberry Pavlovas

Fresh, bright, and vibrant flavors take center stage in this lighter than air dessert. Everyone will adore having their very own individual Lemon Blueberry Pavlova!

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups blueberries and/or blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup lemon curd from this recipe
  • Fresh mint
  • Optional garnish: Johnny Jump Up blossoms

Instructions

  • Let the egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (to help create more volume). Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • For the meringue, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment* beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is no longer gritty (about 18 to 20 minutes), scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in cornstarch.
  • Spoon the meringue mixture into 8 large mounds (about 3/4 cup each) on a very large, parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart. Using the back of the spoon, create an indent in each meringue. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven; let meringue dry in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove and cool completely.
  • In a mixing bowl toss berries with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand 20 minutes.
  • Fill each shell with 2 tablespoons lemon curd and top each with berries and mint leaves. Optional garnish; Johnny Jump Up pansy blossoms. For best results, assemble just prior to serving.

Notes

*You may also use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites―know the total beating time might be a little longer and the total volume a little less than with a stand mixer.

It's best to make the lemon curd at least one day in advance and you'll want to cook the curd the additional couple of minutes longer to get a thicker product (see: notes at bottom of curd recipe from the above link). A store bought curd is a suitable option.

Because I'm keen on symmetry, I did measure each dollop of meringue to 3/4 cup. In doing this, the recipe measured out precisely to 8 portions.

Johnny Jump Ups are akin to pansies and both are edible, be sure to use fresh, clean blossoms.

http://cakewalkr.com/lemon-blueberry-pavlovas/

Comments

  1. Beautiful Brooks!!! I know your wife is thrilled with these. I grew up in a German-heritage community and we had Pavlova on every special occasion. The Germans however call them Schaum Tortes :), I thought everyone in the world ate Schaum Torte. When I left home I realized that I had grown up a bit disillusioned! 🙂 Whatever you call them, they’re wonderful!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Chris, so fun to hear about the German take on the dessert! Thank you for the kind words, my friend. Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. I enjoy coming to your blog Brooks, because your recipes speak to all the senses! I love these for their looks and also the combination of the berries and lemon curd!

  3. what a gorgeous looking dish.. and loved the way you have explained it.. just superb

    • Brooks Walker says:

      It’s great to have you here, Shubha, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the explanation.

  4. Brooks, pavlovas have been “shelved in the archives of my mind” for several months now and are working their way up in the queue.When a friend called me some months ago for advice on her pavlova problems, I thought “Hey, I haven’t blogged these yet!” But now I’ll have to wait a while so they won’t be out there at the same time as yours–I *know* mine are not going to be so sumptuously gloriously gorgeous as yours! And, besides, next in my queue is lemon curd, which you just did and I don’t want to be a copycat!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Jean, you are sweet―thank you for the kind words! Please allow your queue to roll on. Your work is lovely and needs to be shared regardless if similar recipes are out there. 🙂

  5. What a beautiful dessert Brooks. I am sure the Mrs. was thrilled with this special dessert.

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Thank you, Denise, she was! It was fun to expose the kids to this kind of meringue dessert too.

  6. I’ve never made a pavlova, but these look so wonderful, and I love blueberries – I’ve got to try it!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Thank you, Jeff. I found the recipe to be fairly user-friendly. Best wishes on your trial!

  7. What a beautiful dessert, your meringues look exceptional. Recently I made 146 macarons in six flavours for our anniversary party and they went like hot cakes! I used your curd recipe for mini tarts that I also served at the party!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      I remember the macaron marathon! So glad the curd recipe was a success for the tarts. Thank you for the compliment, Eva. 🙂

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