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“Ever since my first pav in How To Eat, I have been something of a pavaholic. For me, acidity is key. I never understood why anyone would pile sweet fruit on top of something that is essentially – and dreamily – a cross between a marshmallow and a meringue. So naturally, a lemon pavlova made perfect sense. I had the idea – yes, really – from the actor Michael Sheen. This didn’t come in the form of a personal tip, I should admit. I saw him create a great pile of lemony pavs on BBC Two’s The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, and it inspired me. I am childishly excited about this pavlova: a reminder that good ideas come unbidden, much as happiness does. (Recipe courtesy Simply Nigella)”
READY IN:
2hrs 30mins
SERVES:
8-12
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 egg whites (feel free to use egg whites from a carton, such as Two Chicks, if wished)
  • 375 g caster sugar
  • 2 12 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 50 g sliced almonds
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 325 g jar lemon curd

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. 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.
  3. Sprinkle the cornflour over the meringue, then grate in the zest – a fine microplane is best for this – of 1 lemon and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  4. Gently fold until everything is thoroughly mixed inches Mound onto the lined baking tray in a fat circle approximately 23cm/10inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and the top with a knife or spatula.
  5. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300°F, and cook for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, but don’t leave it anywhere cold as this will make it crack too quickly. If you think your kitchen is too cool, then leave the pavlova inside the oven with the door completely open. When you’re ready to eat, turn the pavlova onto a large flat plate or board with the underside uppermost – I do this before I sit down to the meal in question and let it stand till pudding time. This is so the tender marshmallow belly of the pav melds with the soft topping.
  7. Toast the flaked almonds, by frying them in a dry pan over a medium to high heat until they have started to colour. Shake the pan at regular intervals and don’t let them burn. This doesn’t take more than a minute or so. When they’re done, remove to a cold plate so that they don’t carry on cooking.
  8. Whip the cream until thick and airy but still with a soft voluptuousness about it, and set it aside for a mo.
  9. Put the lemon curd into a bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen it a little. Taste the lemon curd (if it’s shop-bought) and add some lemon zest and a spritz of juice if it’s too sweet.
  10. With a light hand, a glad heart and a spatula, spread the lemon curd on top of the meringue base. Now top with the whipped cream, peaking it rather as if it were a meringue topping. Sprinkle with the zest of the remaining lemon – you can grate this finely or coarsely as you wish – followed by the flaked almonds, and serve triumphantly.
  11. MAKE AHEAD NOTES: Meringue base can be made 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container until needed.Curd can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and store in fridge until needed. Stir before using.Almonds can be toasted a week ahead. When cold, store in an airtight container at room temperature until needed. Assemble the pavlova about 1 hour ahead of serving.
  12. STORE NOTE: Leftovers can be stored in fridge, loosely covered with clingfilm, for up to 1 day.

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