What can I say? Like most South Africans, I love a good lemon meringue, but I’m always looking for new ways to get that same sweet-sour-crispy-crunchy kick that I get from a good old-fashioned lemon meringue pie from other sources. Well, I would go so far as to say that this particular pavlova overdelivers on that front. It’s an absolute explosion of flavour and texture, with beautifully tart flavours from the lemon and granadilla to offset the sweetness of the meringue, and oodles of crunch from the almond flakes and granadilla pips to complement the gooey chewiness of the meringue and filling. If it sounds like a mouthful, it is, and it’s SO worth it!
for the lemon and passion fruit curd filling
80 ml lemon juice
30 ml passion fruit pulp
65 g (80 ml) sugar
3 NuLaid Free Range eggs
90 g (100 ml) unsalted butter, cut into blocks
for the pavlova
150 ml NuLaid Free Range egg whites (if you measure your egg whites you can use any size eggs available)
165 g (195 ml) caster sugar
5 ml white wine vinegar
5 ml vanilla essence
50 g flaked almonds
for the lemon and passion fruit filling
Whisk the lemon juice, passion fruit pulp, sugar and free range eggs together, then pour the mixture into a saucepan.
Put the saucepan on a low heat, stirring continuously until thickened. It must have the consistency of a very thick custard.
While your saucepan is still on a low heat, add the butter block by block while stirring. Once all the butter has been added, spoon the curd into a clean bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Keep it in the fridge until needed.
for the pavlova
Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Line a 25 x 35 x 2 cm baking tray with baking paper and spray with a non-stick edible food spray. (One doesn’t normally spray good quality baking paper, but this meringue is quite sticky. By spraying the baking paper you will make sure the meringue won’t stick to the paper.)
Place the egg whites in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until stiff peaks begin to form. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, waiting 30 seconds before adding another tablespoon. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Once all the sugar has been added, add the vinegar and vanilla essence.
Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray and smooth out the meringue. Sprinkle the almonds on top. (Not only do the almonds add great taste and crunch, but you will find that when you roll your pavlova the almonds also help prevent the meringue from sticking to the paper.)
Place the meringue in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Place a large piece of baking paper on a cooling rack. Take the pavlova out of the oven and allow to cool in the tray for 3 – 4 minutes. Then, turn the pavlova onto the rack and carefully remove the paper. Let it cool a further 7 – 8 minutes or until room temperature.
Spread the cooled filling on top. Carefully roll the pavlova lengthwise from one side to the other.
Slice your dessert into portions and dust with a little icing sugar, just to be fancy.