This double-layered pavlova with raspberry curd is an absolute dream. It balances the sweetness with tartness, and creamy texture with crunch. Get the recipe below!
Pavlova is essentially a meringue, topped with whipped cream, and fruit. It was first created in the 20th century, in either Australia or New Zealand (both claim it). To add another country to the mix, the name comes from a Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Her pirouette must have been stunning to inspire such a dessert in a whole different continent!
My first attempt at making a pavlova was when I was still in high school in 2008. I followed the recipe for a Mixed Berry Pavlova by Ina Garten.
My next encounter with pavlova was in Cairns, Australia on the last night of 2016.
I was hosting a dinner with my friends for my 31st birthday, and thought this would be the perfect time to try my hand at making Pavlova again, but this time with a twist.
While I love the basics of the dish (the meringue and the whipped cream), I thought it needed something tart to really round it out. I couldn’t find the perfect recipe, so I combined elements of recipes that I liked.
Below you’ll find the adapted recipe I used to make for my dinner party.
Layered Pavlova with Raspberry Curd
Yield: 8 servings | Time: 2 hours
This double-layered pavlova makes a twist on the classic by adding tart raspberry curd.
Meringue (double all for a second layer):
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ¼ cups of superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups of raspberries
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 TBSP of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 TBSP granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 TBSP softened butter
Whipped Cream and Toppings:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 TBSP powdered sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Handful of fresh berries of your choice
To prepare meringues:
- Heat oven to 350 F degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and draw a circle on each paper using an 8- or 9-inch cake pan as a guide. Flip the parchment over so the pencil marking is facing down (this ensures that the pencil won’t transfer to the meringue).
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine 4 egg whites and a pinch of salt. Begin beating at low speed, slowly increasing to high. Continue until satiny peaks begin to form; gradually beat in 1 ¼ cup of sugar a tablespoon at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
- Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of white-wine vinegar, and a few drops of vanilla. Fold in gently with a rubber spatula.
- Mound onto parchment within the circle, and shape into a disk, flattening the top and smoothing sides. Place in oven, and immediately reduce heat to 300 F degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven.
- Repeat steps 1 – 4 for a second layer of meringue. Make this meringue smaller or larger in circumference depending on your ideal size.
Prepare the raspberry curd:
- While the meringues are cooking, start working on the raspberry curd by placing the raspberries, zest, and lemon juice in a small pot. Cook on medium-low heat until the raspberries soften and the consistency is more liquid-like.
- Remove the raspberry mixture from the stove and press through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and zest. Scrape until you have about ½ cup of raspberry mixture. Discard the seeds, rinse the sieve, and prepare it to be used again.
- Return the raspberry mixture to the small pot off the stove, and stir in the sugar. Once the mixture has cooled a bit more so that it is not hot to touch, whisk in the egg. Return the pot to the stove at medium heat, while whisking until the curd is thicker in consistency.
- Once again, pour the mixture through the clean sieve and press to get as much of the liquid through, scraping as much as needed. Now add in the butter and stir until it is fully melted. You will know it is ready when you have a shiny, smooth curd. Transfer the bowl containing the mixture to the fridge to cool for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the whipped cream:
- Add the heavy cream to a large bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, mix the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add in powdered sugar to taste, and a 1 tsp. of vanilla, or to taste. Mix again until the mixture has more sturdy peaks. Put into the fridge until needed.
Putting everything together:
- Take a dollop of whipped cream, and put it in the middle of a large plate. Put the largest meringue on top. This will hold the meringue so it does not move from the center.
- Spoon half of the chilled curd on top of the large meringue on the plate. Spread carefully, so as to not disturb the fragile meringue. Spoon half of the whipped cream on top of the curd, gently spreading to not mix the 2 layers.
- Place smaller meringue on top, and repeat the layers of custard and whipped cream gently spread across.
- Top with berries, according to one’s own delight! Serve immediately.
For me, the *only* downside to this dish, is that it doesn’t cut well. The fragility of all the layers makes for a very smooshed looking dessert. But, it taste incredible, so it’s worthwhile to overlook.
Let me know if you make this dish or have a variation you’d like to share.