Food & Swine

Pavlovas with Berries and Lemon Curd

I have dozens of eggs on hand at any time and this dessert recipe incorporates both the white and yolk (if you make the lemon curd from scratch). I was moved to create a new egg dessert. One that is not custard, nor pudding or even ice cream. Meet my new summer dessert BFF: Pavlova. Named after the famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, this dessert sounds fancy, it certainly looks fancy, but is not fussy at all.

Another bonus of this recipe, it happens to be gluten-free*.  Some of my best friends and family have never gotten to eat dessert at my house because I have a limited amount of ‘favorite recipes’ that don’t include flour.  This recipe is officially moved to the top of the ‘all-time favorite’ heap. It is delicate, light, delicious and the perfect ending to a meal on a warm summer evening.  I’ll certainly be making this dessert again soon.

See the full story and snag more incredible recipes over at the website of the Iowa Food and Family Project.

(*check the sources of all of your ingredients to be sure that there is no gluten processed in the same facilities.)

Pavlovas with Lemon Curd, Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream

Ingredients for Pavlova Shells:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 c white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & spray with PAM nonstick cooking spray .  In a clean dry mixing bowl, add egg whites.  Mix on medium speed until light and foamy.  Gradually add sugar 1 TBSP at a time. When sugar is added, flip the mixer to high speed and beat until whites are stiff and glossy and hold their shape, in the final mixing, add vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Sprinkle or sift cornstarch over meringue in bowl.  Fold in gently, do not deflate meringue.  Remove the bowl from the mixer & sift the cornstarch over the meringue.  Use a silicone spatula to gently fold in the cornstarch, taking care not to deflate the meringue.
  4. Gently scoop or pipe the meringue into 6 small mounds on the parchment lined and sprayed baking sheet.  Hollow out the centers slightly with a spoon.  Place baking sheet into the oven, reduce temperature immediately to 225 F.
  5. Bake the pavlovas for 30 minutes, rotate the pan & bake for 30 more minutes.  When done, the outside will be dry & firm to the touch. Pavlovas should remain light in color.  Turn off oven, crack door and let them dry an additional 60-90 minutes or overnight.  Remove from oven, cool completely.
  6. Serve when cool, garnished with *lemon curd (recipe below) and berries.  Leftover cooled pavlovas may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple of days.

Ingredients For Garnish:

  • 3/4 C lemon curd (store-bought or homemade *recipe follows)
  • 2-3 pints of berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Garnish:

Wash berries gently.  Set aside to dry on paper towels.  Meanwhile, whip cream to soft peaks, slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whip to stiff peaks.  Keep chilled until assembly.

Assembly of Pavlova Dessert:

  1. Take pavlova shell, place on plate.
  2. Place 1-2 TBSP lemon curd inside shell.
  3. Top with a handful of berries.
  4. Dollop with fresh cream.
  5. Serve Immediately.

Homemade Lemon Curd

Ingredients for Lemon Curd:

  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 C sugar
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 small lemons)
  • 1 pinch of salt


  1. Into a food processor, add zest (not white pith, just yellow part) of 3 lemons, add sugar and pulse until zest is very finely minced into sugar. In a mixing bowl, cream butter for 30 seconds until smooth.  Beat in lemon sugar mixture. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat (3.5/10) until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. You may test temperature of mixture with a digital instant read thermometer or clean meat thermometer.  Curd will thicken at 170 degrees, just below a simmer.  Remove from heat after thickened.  Let stand at room temperature to cool, refrigerate.  Store in refrigerator in a mason jar.
  3. Use as layer cake filling, spooned over ice cream, with yogurt, as a spread for toast, scones or muffins… the possibilities are endless!

Other recipes for the incredible, edible egg.

Veggie Quinoa Mini Frittatas

Cattleman Approved Steak Wraps

Dynamite Pork and Egg Breakfast Burger

Simple and Fresh Veggie Frittata Squares

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  • Reply Bunny Eats Design July 8, 2014 at 12:14 am

    This looks great! Love the red/blue/white them too for this time of year.

    Pavlova is a national treasure here in New Zealand and there isn’t a single summer BBQ or potluck that doesn’t include a pavlova. With all the gluten free eaters out there now, it’s good to have a default gluten-free dessert for them to eat too.

    • Reply Cristen July 8, 2014 at 12:36 am

      Thank you! I could eat a million of those things, what a treasure you have! :) Cute bunnies on your site too, wonderful creativity you have as well.

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