Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Raspberries

Dessert, Easter Recipes, Fruit Desserts | 25 comments

What do you do when you’ve made Lemon Curd and have a whole bunch of egg whites leftover? Make individual pavlovas for dessert! That’s what I did. Pavlova is a meringue based dessert. It has a crispy, crunchy meringue-like shell that is soft and moist on the inside. And I happen to think that it is perfect for Easter dessert.

I topped my pavlova with lemon curd and fresh raspberries, but the nice thing about a pavlova is that you can top it with whatever you want and whatever is in season at the moment. AND you probably have all the ingredients to make the meringue-like base. There’s not really anything too fancy about this fancy looking dessert.

pavlova with raspberries and pastry cream

I have been craving berries lately. Especially raspberries. For breakfast, snacks, desserts…pretty much anytime. They’re hands down easily one of my favorite fruits. But they’re so expensive. When I saw a sale on them this week I had to snatch up a couple containers.

I enjoyed their bright fruity flavor with the crunchy meringue and creamy lemon curd. I can’t help thinking of the other possibilities for pavlova as spring progresses into summer. One thing that I particularly love about this dessert is you don’t need an incredibly hot oven, so it is still doable on a warm day.

On a side note, for some reason Madeline had the bright idea to call this a “dessert quesadilla.” I have no idea what that means. Eric says it’s because they were white and flat (like tortillas) and it had yellowish stuff on top (like cheese). I’m not seeing the resemblance, so maybe she just thought “Pavlova” was too difficult to say.

recipe for individual pavlova

If you’re looking for an elegant dessert for the upcoming Easter weekend, or maybe a Mother’s Day dessert, which is a little more down the line, pavlova will surely be a hit.

Just dress it up with whatever toppings you like best: citrus curd, mounds of fresh whipped cream,or anything else light and refreshing that comes to mind. Then, pile on your seasonal fruit of choice.

I prefer to prepare these as individual desserts rather than a larger pavlova. There’s just something charming and likable to me about mini versions of desserts and individual small replicas of the full sized dessert.

If you prefer a larger pavlova, just make one large circle rather than 6-8 small sized nests. You will need to watch the baking time, however.

Pavlova with Raspberries and Lemon Curd

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For the Meringue Nests:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean (seeds only)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 ounces egg white, about 5-6 large eggs

Lemon Curd - Recipe: Citrus Curd 3 Ways
Fresh Raspberries, Strawberries or Blueberries
Whipped Cream
Mint Leaves, for garnish


Divide the egg whites from the yolks. Save the yolks for a later use, such as Citrus Curd or another favorite recipe that requires egg yolks. Bring the egg whites to room temperature for 30 minutes before beginning the recipe.

Prepare by preheating your oven to 250 degrees F and lining a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, turn the speed on to low. Mix for 1 minute, then gradually increase the speed to medium-low.

Continue to beat at medium-low for another minute, then increase mixer's speed to medium. Continue until the mixture has small bubbles and soft peaks start to develop, about 2 minutes.

Slowly add the sugar mixture into the bowl as the mixture continues to beat. Increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. It is ready when the meringue is shiny and has developed stiff peaks.

For individual pavlovas, you can spoon little nests (6-8 total) of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Then, bake at 250 degrees F for 45 – 65 minutes. Rotate the pan(s) halfway through baking.

Finished meringue should be crisp and dry, but not cracked. The insides will have a marshmallow-like consistency. Cool baked meringue on a wire rack.

Tip: Form a dip in the center of each pavlova with the back of the spoon before baking to act as a dish to hold the lemon curd and berries.

After pavlova has cooled, top with lemon curd and fresh berries. Best served immediately. If you assemble the dessert too soon then the lemon curd with begin to dissolve the meringue.

More Easter recipes at Life as Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - April 20, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    Katie, this looks fabulous! I considered making it for Easter, but I stink at meringue.


  • 2
    Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday - April 20, 2011 @ 6:40 am

    How do you prevent the pavlova from being sticky? I’ve had pavlovas before that were crisp on the outside but the inside, instead of being light, was sticky and gummy almost.


    • Shaina replied: — April 20th, 2011 @ 9:02 AM

      The key is to bake it on a low temperature for a long time. This will help the inside to cook slowly without the outside getting overdone. If the oven is too hot, the outside will harden before the inside has a chance to cook for long enough.

  • 3
    Mrs. Jen B - April 20, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    That’s gorgeous! Have to say, I’ve never made a pavolva before even though I’ve concocted many a meringue. Maybe this is something I should try (though not for a big holiday as a first-timer, I think!).

    I also enjoy mini versions of desserts – they have the added benefit of perhaps being a little more figure friendly! ;)


  • 4
    Jaime {sophistimom} - April 20, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    I was just thinking of making mini pavlovas today, too! These are so beautiful.


  • 5
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - April 20, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Katie, those are so pretty! I’ve never eaten a pavlova, believe it or not.


    • Aimee @ Simple Bites replied: — April 20th, 2011 @ 8:31 PM

      Amber, that is a crying shame. They are one of my favorite desserts. You need to whip some up!

  • 6
    Tracy - April 20, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    What a great use for lemon curd! I’ve never thought to pile it on top of pavlovas. Yum!!


  • 7
    Sues - April 20, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    I think pavlovas are one of the prettiest desserts EVER! Yours are beautiful; I love the addition of lemon curd :)


  • 8
    EatLiveRun - April 20, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Such a lovely springtime dessert!


  • 9
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - April 20, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    These look amazing… I especially love the lemon curd!


  • 10
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - April 20, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    Katie, you’ve outdone yourself. Love pavlova, love the use of lemon curd, and these are just perfect for Easter. Pinned, Tweeted & Stumbled! =)


  • 11
    Noamuth - April 20, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    I’m an Aussie, so yay for Pavlova! Though there are arguments that it came from NewZealand.. *cough*

    Anyway! Pavlova is also gorgeous with soft-whipped vanilla (or coffee!) cream, hazelnuts, strawberries and melted chocolate drizzled over the top.
    It is such a versatile dessert, so I’m glad to see that people all over are still loving it. ^.^

    But now I’ve got cravings for raspberries too! Damn it!


  • 12
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - April 21, 2011 @ 1:40 am

    They certainly are an elegant dessert, and so light too.


  • 13
    Georgia Pellegrini - April 21, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    This looks magical. I’m always looking for an excuse to eat lemon curd and you’ve given me one more! Beautiful photos : )


  • 14
    cookeatlove - April 21, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

    Absolutely brilliant. My perfect dessert.


  • 15
    lisaiscooking - April 22, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    These do look great for Easter! And, I have some leftover lemon curd in the freezer. A perfect use for it.


  • 16
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - April 22, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    Katie, these are so gorgeous! If I didn’t have to make a birthday cake, I’d totally be making these for Easter!


  • 17
    Sam Henderson - April 26, 2011 @ 10:21 am

    Katie, this looks amazing. Your site is wonderful. So glad I found it.


  • 18
    Nutella Love Affair - April 26, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    I had a pavlova for the first time at Extraordinary Desserts and LOVED it! Can’t wait to try making it myself.


  • 19
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods - April 28, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    This looks so amazing! :)


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  • 21
    brenda - May 07, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    I stumbled upon the Pavlova/w raspberries and cream! This looks wonderful and I would love to eat it right now!


  • 22
    Kristin Morden - May 08, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it!


  • 23
    Sylvia Fedyk - August 14, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Thanks for this. I made it for a dinner party when I wanted a dessert that could include my lactose-intolerant 20 year old and this was perfect. Easy, company worthy and beautiful, I just replaced the butter in the lemon-lime curd I made with solid Earth Balance. It also used up the container of egg yolks languishing in my freezer from my last meringue foray.


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