by Mitchell Davis
from The Mensch Chef: Or Why Delicious Jewish Food Isn’t an Oxymoron
(Clarkson Potter, 2002)
Makes 6 servings
Toronto-based cookbook author and cooking teacher Bonnie Stern created this dessert. It’s both easy and impressive. Although the original calls for cornstarch, at Passover you can use potato starch without changing anything else. If you keep kosher and want the dessert to be pareve, prepare the lemon curd using vegetable oil instead of whipping cream (see recipe variation below). Just about anything can be rolled into the pavlova, from chocolate mousse to cranberry curd to whipping cream with fresh berries. Because the meringue roll is so sweet, keep in mind that the filling should be tart.—Mitchell Davis
For the lemon curd filling
1/2 cup (3 to 4 lemons) lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
1/2 cup whipping cream
For the pavlova
8 (about 1 cup) egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
1 tablespoon confectioner’s or granulated sugar, sifted
Prepare the lemon curd filling
1. Combine the lemon juice, peel, and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Beat the egg yolks and potato or cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisk in a little of the hot lemon juice mixture to temper the eggs, then add the rest. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring, until it is thick and begins to bubble. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, press plastic wrap on top of the curd, and chill.
Make the pavlova
1. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). In a large bowl in an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the granulated sugar and continue beating until the whites are stiff and shiny, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and vanilla. Fold in the starch.
2. Spread the meringue into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. It will puff up and then deflate as it cools. When it has cooled completely, dust with the confectioner’s or granulated sugar.
3. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a clean sheet of parchment. Carefully remove the parchment on which the pavlova baked.
4. Whip the cream until light and stiff and fold it into the chilled lemon curd. Spread the lemon mixture evenly on the pavlova and roll up along the longer edge to make a tight jelly roll. Chill until ready to serve. The pavlova can be prepared up to one day in advance.
5. Using a serrated knife, slice the pavlova about 1 ½ inches thick and serve with fresh fruit and/or a sauce of your choice.
Filling Variation: Pareve Lemon Filling
Omit the whipping cream. Add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the saucepan with the lemon juice, sugar, and zest, and proceed as directed.
Recipe © 2002 by Mitchell Davis. All rights reserved.