Pavlova with Lime Curd and Strawberries

Pavlovas topped with fluffy whipped cream and sweet berries are a popular dessert in Norway. When baked properly they boast a crispy, crunchy melt in your mouth exterior and a soft almost marshmallow like interior. While we enjoyed a few this summer during out travels, I have only managed to make one lone Pavlova. It was a disaster for a variety of reasons including but not limited to baking time, patience and high humidity.  That’s right. High humidity can wreak havoc on egg whites, making them heavy, pretty much the opposite of a well made meringue or pavlova. We ate it any way, and while the texture was certainly a turn off, the flavor was right on.

I tried again last week, needing to come up with a delicious and crowd pleasing recipe for a dinner party. This time the Pavlova was golden, crispy and exactly as it should be.

To tart things up a bit I paired this classic Pavlova with an excellent and tangy Lime Curd from Ina Garten, topping both with sweet, ripe strawberries.

While the pavlova and lime curd both require care and attention while making, the dessert is quick to compile and is a delicious treat that both your most discerning and least sophisticated guest will agree on.

Pavlova with Lime Curd and Strawberries (serves 8-10)

For the Pavlova

1 cup sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
3 large egg whites at room temperature
3 tbsp cold water
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Preheat the oven to 300F. Trace a 9-inch circle on a piece of parchment paper using a cake tin. Turn the parchment over.

Beat the whites with a pinch of salt at medium high speed. They should hold soft peaks. Add the water and then beat back to peaks. Slowly, 1 tbsp at a time, add the sugar and cornstarch. Beat one more minutes. Add the vinegar and turn the speed up to high. Beat the mixture for 5 minutes or until the mixture holds stiff, shiny peaks. Spread the mixture inside the circle on the parchment paper, evening the top out with a spatula.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the pavlova is pale golden and a crust has formed.

For the Lime Curd (from Ina Garten)

Zest of 4 limes
1/2 cup lime juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt

Remove zest from each lime, careful to avoid the white pith. Combine the peel and sugar in an electric mixer and pulse until finely minced.

Using an electric mixer cream the butter, then beat in the sugar and lime zest. Add the eggs one at a time and finally the lime juice and salt. Mix until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and over a low heat cook until the lime curd coats the back of a spoon and reached 175F. Remove from the heat and set aside

When you are ready to complete the pavlova, rinse and slice 1 lb of strawberries.

Using a spatula spoon the lime curd over the pavlova in a large circle, leaving a slight gap on the edge.

Finally, carefully layer the strawberries in a circle pattern over the top of the pavlova in the area in which you have spread the lime zest.

Serve immediately.