Ok, so we don't suggest this be the only thing you cook up today, but this light-as-a-feather pavlova with its homemade lemon curd filling and sprinkling of seasonal berries has to be our dish of the day because it tastes delicious and looks divine. All of sudden we have a serious sweet tooth craving.
FOR THE MERINGUE:
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 250g (8oz) caster sugar
- 1tsp white vinegar
- ½tsp vanilla essence
- 2tsp corn flour
FOR THE LEMON CURD:
- 4 lemons, grated rind and juice
- 450g (14oz) sugar
- 125g (4oz) butter, diced
- 4 free-range eggs, beaten
- 250 (8fl oz) double cream
- Mixed ripe berries, such as blueberries and blackberries
- Heat the oven to 120°C (gas mark½). Line a baking tray with baking paper, then draw a circle 20cm (8in) in diameter in the middle of the paper.
- Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a clean dry bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Fold in the vinegar, vanilla and corn flour.
- Pile the mixture onto the circle on the baking paper, shaping it with a spatula and leaving the centre slightly hollowed. Cook for 1-1¼ hours, or until crisp and dry on the outside. Turn off the oven and leave it to cool with the door ajar.
- To make the curd, finely grate the rind of the lemons into a bowl and add the juice. Add the sugar, butter and beaten eggs to the bowl and sit it over a saucepan of simmering water - don't let the bowl touch the water, stir with a wooden spoon until thick and the curd coats the back of the spoon. Chill until needed.
- To assemble the pavlova, whip the cream until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold about 3tbsp of the cream into the curd. Spoon the curd onto the meringue and heap the berries on top. Serve with the remaining cream on the side.
The meringue base and the curd can be made a few days ahead of eating. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.