Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries
(Gourmet Magazine, Spring 2009)
(Picture shows a double batch)
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 large egg whites at room temp.
3 Tbsp cold water
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 300F with rack in middle. Trace a 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper and put on a baking sheet.
Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until whites hold soft peaks. Add water (whites will loosen) and beat until whites again hold soft peaks.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugar mixture 1 Tbsp. at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more.
Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer).
Gently spread meringue inside circle of parchment, making edge of meringue slightly higher than center. Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes (the inside will be like marshmallow).
Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour.
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups mixed berries
Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-qt heavy saucepan, then add lemon juice and butter. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking, then continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 1 minute.
Lightly beat yolds in a small bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup lemon mixture, then whisk into remaining lemon mixture in saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thickened, about 2 minutes (do not let boil).
Transfer to a bowl and stir in zest. Chill, surface covered with parchment, until cool, about 1 1/2 hours.
Beat heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold 1/4 cup beaten cream into curd to lighten. Spoon lemon curd into meringue and mound berries on top. Serve remaining whipped cream on the side.
Meringue can be made 2 days ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic. Thaw before serving.
Curd can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.