Brown Sugar Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Yogurt Whipped Cream

This delicious pavlova tastes like a fluffy lemon meringue pie, minus the pie crust.


Brown Sugar Pavlova With Lemon Curd and Yogurt Whipped Cream
Adapted from the Wall Street Journal

Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)

Yield: 6 servings

For the pavlova:

  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the lemon curd:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons – 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or all the zest from 2 lemons)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

For the yogurt whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Toppings:

  • Lemon zest, for garnish (optional)
  • Edible blossoms, for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Make the pavlova:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use a pencil to draw a large oval on it. If you don’t have parchment paper, line baking sheet with aluminum foil and dust with cornstarch. Set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse brown sugar and cornstarch until fine. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix the sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl and mash up the sugar clumps with a spoon. Set aside.
  3. Add egg whites and salt to a large, clean bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until foamy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
  5. With mixer running, slowly sprinkle sugar mixture into egg whites and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in vanilla extract.
  7. Spoon meringue into an oval onto prepared baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon to smooth surface.
  8. Bake 1 hour, then turn off oven. Let meringue cool completely in oven, about 1½ hours. Meringue should be crisp on the outside and tender and chewy inside.

Make lemon curd (can make up to 3 days in advance):

  1. Place eggs and egg yolks in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk to combine.
  2. Add sugar, lemon juice, and zest, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Place pan over medium heat and add butter.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to stir continuously until mixture begins to thicken and just coat spatula, 3-5 minutes. To avoid curdling, keep a close eye on the heat, reducing as needed and making sure the mixture never boils. Continue cooking, stirring, until mixture reaches 160 degrees F.
  5. Remove from heat and scrape mixture into a shallow bowl to cool. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, pressing wrap onto surface of curd so a skin does not form. Pierce plastic with the tip of a knife in a few places to release steam.
  6. Refrigerate until fully cooled, up to 3 days.

Make yogurt whipped cream:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream, yogurt, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat on medium-high speed until cream holds stiff peaks, 3-4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble pavlova:

  1. Place meringue on a large platter. Spoon lemon curd onto the center of the meringue and use the back of a spoon to smooth into an even layer, leaving a 1 ½-inch border of bare meringue all around. Dollop a pile of yogurt whipped cream on top of the lemon curd. Garnish with lemon zest, blossoms and sprigs of mint, if desired. Serve immediately.
  2. Alternatively, if you know you’ll have leftovers, cut meringue into individual portions and only top the ones you’re going to eat. You can store the remaining meringue in an airtight container at room temperature. Store the lemon curd and whipped cream in the fridge.

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