The minute we think of Spring and desserts, we think of light, gorgeous desserts like the Aussie class, the Pavlova. Named after the ballerina, Anna Pavlova, the dessert is classically just fruit and meringue layered together. We add in a light-as-can-be lemon curd, a berry sauce, and Mascarpone whipped cream to make it next level. This is the kind of recipe we pull out for big spring occasions from birthdays to Mother's Day brunch.
separated into yolks and whites
(if you can't find superfine just pulse regular granulated sugar in the blender until it's powdery)
cut into small cubes
For the meringue: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draw a circle on the paper using an 8- or 9- inch cake pan as a guide. Flip the parchment over so the pencil marking is facing down (this ensures that the pencil won't transfer to the meringue). In bowl of an electric mixer, combine the 6 egg whites and a pinch of the salt. Begin beating at low speed, slowly increasing to high. Continue until satiny peaks begin to form; gradually beat in 1 3/4 cup of the sugar a tablespoon at a time until meringue is stiff and shiny.
Sprinkle in cornstarch, white-wine vinegar, and dash of vanilla, and fold in gently. Mound onto parchment within circle, and shape into a disk, flattening top and smoothing sides. Place in oven, and immediately reduce heat to 300°F and bake until set about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off heat, and allow meringue to cool completely in oven.
Meringue can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store lightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature until ready to use.
For the lemon curd: Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. Combine 6 egg yolks, 2/3 cup of the sugar, zest, 1/2 cup of the juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until evenly combined. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard, which should not run back in on itself. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and stir in 8 tablespoons of the butter, piece by piece, until. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
Curd can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. You will not need all of the curd so you can use the rest to make parfaits or to fill crepes.
For the raspberry puree: Place the 2 cups of raspberries and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the raspberries just begin to break down. Transfer sauce to a food processor or blender, add the lemon juice, and process until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve and discard seeds and set sauce aside.
Raspberry puree sauce can be made up to 4 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. You will not need to use all the puree -- use the rest to top ice cream or your morning yogurt or to make a twist on these Peach Melba Cream Sodas.
For the mascarpone whipped cream: When ready to serve, combine 8 ounces of mascarpone, 1/2 cup of cream, and remaining 1/3 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl. Using a clean whisk, beat just until well combined and fluffy and medium peaks (the whipped cream will cling to the whisk without falling off).
To serve: To assemble, carefully peel off parchment and place meringue on a platter or cake stand. Gently crack the top with the back of a soup spoon to make a shallow nest for the whipped cream, curd, sauce, and berries. Place one of the meringue rounds on a cake stand then topping with half the whipped mascarpone, a few spoonfuls of the curd, and a few spoonfuls of the raspberry puree. Top with half the berry mixture then repeat to create a second layer. Serve immediately.
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