Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Curd, Whipped Cream and Shaved Pistachio

Mini Pavlovas with
Lemon Curd, Whipped Cream and Shaved Pistachio

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Individual desserts make a fun ending to a meal, and these sweet treats are sure to wow everyone at the table. Our miniature versions of pavlova, the baked meringue named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, are filled with homemade lemon curd, then garnished with whipped cream and shaved pistachios. Sounds fancy, but they’re really quite easy to prepare and are perfect for spring.

INGREDIENTS:

For the pavlovas:

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the lemon curd:

  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) (5 oz./155 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping (optional):

  • 1 Tbs. raw shelled pistachios

Directions:

  • To make the pavlovas, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 250°F (120°C). Draw six 4-inch (10-cm) circles on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the parchment over and place on a baking sheet.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the egg whites and beat until foamy, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to high and very gradually add the sugar, beating until stiff, shiny peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. Quickly beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.
  • Divide the meringue evenly between the circles on the parchment paper, forming mounds. Use the back of a spoon to create an indentation in the center of each meringue and a slight rim around the edges.
  • Bake until the meringues are crisp and the color has deepened slightly, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven and, leaving the door closed, let the meringues cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • Meanwhile, make the lemon curd: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and vanilla. Add the butter and cook, whisking constantly, until the butter melts and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl and refrigerate until cool.
  • Spoon the lemon curd into the hollows of the meringues, dividing evenly. Set aside.
  • To make the whipped cream, in the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Spoon the whipped cream over the lemon curd.
  • Using a fine Microplane grater, shave pistachio dust over the surface of the pavlovas. Serves immediately. Serves 6.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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