We couldn’t resist sharing Nigella Lawson’s light and scrumptious lemon pavlova, a fabulous finish for a dinner party, roast dinner or afternoon sweet.
6 Clarence Court duck egg whites
375g caster sugar
2 ½ teaspoons cornflour
2 unwaxed lemons
50g flaked almonds
300ml double cream
325g jar lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 180c / Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
Sprinkle the cornflour over the meringue, then grate in the zest – a fine microplane is best for this – of 1 lemon and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
Gently fold until everything is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto the lined baking tray in a fat circle approximately 23cm/10inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and the top with a knife or spatula. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150c / Gas Mark 2 and cook for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool, but don’t leave it anywhere cold as this will make it crack too quickly. If you think your kitchen is too cool, then leave the pavlova inside the oven with the door completely open. When you’re ready to eat, turn the pavlova onto a large flat plate or board with the underside uppermost – it’s best to do this before you sit down to the meal in question and let it stand until pudding time. This is so the tender marshmallow belly of the pavlova melds with the soft topping.
Toast the flaked almonds, by frying them in a dry pan over a medium to high heat until they have started to colour. Shake the pan at regular intervals and don’t let them burn. This doesn’t take more than a minute or so. When they’re done, remove to a cold plate so they don’t carry on cooking.
Whip the cream until thick and airy but still with a soft voluptuousness about it, and set it aside for a moment.
Put the lemon curd into a bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen it a little. Taste the lemon curd (if it’s shop-bought) and add some lemon zest and a spritz of juice if it’s too sweet.