{ pucker up }

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{ lemon-ginger pavlova with fresh strawberry sauce }

Lemons are just a beautiful thing. When I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Heaven. Even better was fresh-squeezed and muddled strawberry lemonade. Oh joy. I would search far and wide–which usually meant I sought out the closest Bristol Farms–for a tall frosty glass. We used to live in the big city which made these cravings much easier to satisfy.

I also love chocolate. I mean, REALLY love chocolate. Pretty much any time, day or night. Dressed up and out on the town or in pajamas, in bed, at home. It just always sounds good, doesn’t it?

In an interesting turn of events, I’ve learned of late that I lean towards fruit-based desserts when the mercury’s risin’. I know, this is groundbreaking material.

I found myself the other day with a decent amount of time on my hands, a little curiosity and a desire to revisit the pavlova. It sounded…refreshing. Never mind that I was sweating BALLS while I was baking. The result was delicious.

I had an amazing pavlova once that had passionfruit oozing over the top. Don’t even get me started on my love of passionfruit. That’s one of nature’s little gems that isn’t easily procured in my one-horse town. Sigh. We truly can’t have it all, can we?

{ lemon-ginger pavlova with fresh strawberry sauce }

Makes six individual pavlovas

INGREDIENTS

For the Meringue

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites at room temp
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Lemon Curd

  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (three lemons)
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature

Strawberry sauce

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries; cleaned and hulled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar

 DIRECTIONS

Meringue

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in the bowl of an electric mixer*, then add the egg whites and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks; about eight minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and vanilla and beat again until they are stiff and glossy, about 3 more minutes. Carefully spread the meringue onto the parchment paper into six small mini meringues; 3-4 inches in diameter. Be delicate here…treat them like the fragile wonders they are. Leave at least two inches between each meringue, as they will spread a bit while cooking. Create a slight crater in the center of each meringue to hold the curd and whipped cream.
  • Bake until golden for about 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let cool in the oven for about an hour or more.

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Lemon Curd

  • Zest all three lemons, avoiding the white pithy part. Put the zest in a food processor with the sugar and cornstarch; blend until the zest is evenly distributed.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, then the lemon juice and salt and mix well. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly for 10 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken just prior to boiling. Remove from the heat and cool; cover the top with plastic wrap to avoid a film forming. Say ‘film forming’ twenty times fast. Chill curd.

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Raspberry Sauce

  • Place all Raspberry Sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Chill.

Whipping Cream

  • Just prior to serving, put heavy whipping cream in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium high speed. Whisk until soft peaks form. Put sugar in and continue to mix until mixture is shiny and glossy.
  • To serve, place each pavlova on dessert plates. Evenly distribute the lemon curd amongst the six pavlovas. Then top with whipped cream and drizzle with strawberry sauce. Serve immediately.

This seems like a lot now that I’ve written it all down…but I promise it doesn’t take too long. And we’re working on the premise that you have the above time on your hands. Happy eating.


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