We asked londonfoodboy to share his favourite recipe for this years National Strawberry Day. Here is his tasty:
Pavlova with lemon curd and strawberries
Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
One large baking tray
2 mixing bowls (steel or glass)
For the meringue
* 6 large egg whites
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 375g caster sugar
* 3 tsp cornflour
* 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
For the toppings
* 300g double cream
* 1/2 vanilla bean pod
* 800g strawberries, halved or quartered
* Icing sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 250g caster sugar
* 250ml lemon juice
* 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
* Lemon zest from 3 lemons
1. Preheat the oven to 120C. Place a 20-22cm plate on a sheet of baking paper and draw around it.
2. Put the egg whites and the sugar in a large clean bowl (steel or glass), and use a kitchen machine or electric hand whisk to make the meringue. Whisk on low speed until the eggs turn into soft foam, then turn the rate up until stiff but not dry.
3. Start adding the sugar, little by little whisking in between. Whisk until the mixture is soft and shiny and the sugar has dissolved.
4. Sift in the cornflour and add the vinegar. Use a spatula to fold them gently together.
5. Place the baking paper on a baking tray and spread the meringue within the circle using a spatula.
6. Place in the bottom of the oven for 2 hours. Please open the door slightly and leave it too cool before adding your toppings or leave until the next day. The merengue will now be crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle.
7. Make the lemon curd while the meringue is in the oven, so it has time to cool down before assembling the pavlova.
8. In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar together. Add lemon juice and whisk again. Place the bowl atop of a saucepan with an inch of simmering water. The temperature needs to be medium-low, and the bowl should not touch the water. Heat gently while whisking continuously. When the mixture has thickened to your desired consistency, remove from the heat and whisk in butter and lemon zest. Set aside to cool down.
9. Just before serving; Split the vanilla bean in two and scrape out the seeds. Add the cream and the vanilla seeds in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form, and spoon into the meringue’s centre. Top with lemon curd, strawberries and sieved icing sugar.
Tips & tricks
Pavlova is a great make-ahead dessert that’s gluten-free, too.
Enjoy this years National Strawberry day!
Written By: Patrick Smith | Food & Drink Editor