Pavlova, a national dish of Australia, was named for Russian ballerine Anna Pavlova. This meringue-based dessert is also a favorite in New Zealand.  

Ingredients

For meringue

  • 1 Cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 Large egg whites at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 3 Tablespoon cold water
  • 1 Teaspoon distilled white vinegar

For filling

  • 2/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 Cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Large egg yolks
  • 1/2 Stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 Cup chilled heavy cream
  • 4 Cup mixed berries

Preparation

Make meringue

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit with rack in middle. Trace an approximately 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment over and put on a baking sheet.

Step 2:

Whisk together superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Step 3:

Beat whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add cold water (3 Tbsp; whites will loosen) and beat until whites again old soft peaks.

Step 4:

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.

Step 5:

Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (longer if using handheld mixer)

Step 6:

Use a couple of dabs of meringue to "glue" parchment to baking sheet, then gently spread meringue inside circle on parchment, making edge of meringue slightly higher than center (the "crater" is for curd and fruit). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, 45 to 55 minutes (inside will be marshmallow-like)

Step 7:

Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour.

Make lemon curd while meringue cools

Whisk together sugar, cornstach and salt in a 2-qt heavy saucepan, then whisk in lemon zest and juice, yolks and butter. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking then continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Transfer to a metal bowl and quick-chill curd by setting bowl in an ice bath, stirring curd occasionally until thickened and cold, about 20 minutes. Keep curd chilled, its surface covered with wax paper, until ready to assemble pavlova.

Assemble pavlova

Beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff beaks, then fold 1/2 cup whipped cream into curd to lighten. Spoon lemon curd onto center of meringue and mound berries on top. Serve remaining whipped cream on the side.

Cooks' notes

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.