A delicious spring pavlova with crisp meringue on the outside, chewy on the inside, filled with cream, marbled with homemade lemon curd and topped with orange poached rhubarb. Decorated with tiny new mint leaves, pretty primroses and violets.
- Electric mixer or handheld electric whisk, baking sheet, medium bowl, lemon squeezer, saucepan, sieve
- 4 egg whites
- 225g/ 8oz caster sugar
- 2tsp cornflour
- 2tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2tsp vanilla extract Nielsen Massey
- 3 large lemons zest & juice
- 85g 3oz butter
- 110g/ 4oz granulated or caster sugar
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 255g/ 9oz forced rhubarb cut into 2" pieces
- 55g/ 2oz caster sugar
- 1/2 orange zest & juice
- 300ml/ 1/2 pt double cream whipped to soft peak
- handful primroses, violets & young mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 140fan/325f/GM3/Aga – Simmering oven. Draw a 9" circle on a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking sheet.
- Pour the egg whites and the sugar into the mixing bowl. Mix the cornflour, white wine vinegar and vanilla extract together in a small bowl and add to the egg whites and sugar.
- Put the mixer on high and leave for 10mins. Alternatively either use a handheld mixer and whisk everything together for 10mins or whisk the egg whites until frothy and add the sugar bit by bit to make a really thick meringue and then add the other ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Spread the meringue mixture on to the parchment paper, keeping within the circle. Make a slight indentation in the middle (for the cream when assembling) and keep the oustide higher and slightly peaked or swirled.
- Turn the oven down to 130fan/300f/GM2. Place into the middle of the oven for 1hr. After the hour turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in there overnight to dry the edges and make the centre all chewy & mallowy. Aga – bake in the simmering oven for 2hrs and then remove and leave to cool on the work surface.
- Pour the lemon juice into a large saucepan and add the lemon zest, butter, sugar and eggs. Place over a medium heat.
- Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture thickens. Be careful not to use too high a heat or the eggs will curdle/scramble.
- When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leaves a clear mark whtn you draw your fingerr though, it's ready.
- Pour into a sieve and press through with a silicone ladle or a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. (Don't use a metal spoon or ladle as the metal could react with the acidity of the lemons and cause your curd to taste metallic and/or go a funny colour). This will get rid of all the eggy strings and get all of the lemon flavour from the zest.
- Pour into a sterilised jar and secure with a tight fitting lid. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze.
- Preheat oven to 200fan/400f/GM6/Aga – Roasting oven.
- Put all of the rhubarb into an ovenproof dish in a single layer.
- Add all of the other ingredients. Cover with baking parchment and tin foil.
- Roast in the oven for 10mins.
- Remove from the oven and keep covered until completely cold.
- Put the pavlova onto your serving platter, spread with the whipped cream, marble through the lemon curd, add the roast rhubarb and scatter over the pretty flowers and leaves. Serve!