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FreshTartSteph Recipe: Pavlovas


This pretty recipe is via my friend Zoë Francois, she of Zoë Bakes and Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. Not only is Zoë one of the coolest, funniest chicks on the planet, she's a total rock star these days, traveling the country with her co-author Jeff Hertzberg, MD, promoting their latest book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, as well as taping an appearance on the Cooking Channel, probably as I write this sentence.

Zoë posted a pavlova recipe on the Cooking Channel site last week, in fact, and I was so smitten with her beautiful photographs—and the promise of a gluten-free dessert!—that right away I asked if we could do a version here. Zoë graciously agreed and suggested lime curd with white chocolate and tropical fruit. OK! Oh my goodness, tender meringues the color of the snow we don't have, filled with zingy lime pudding...a perfect mid-February treat in my book.

I made them for a post-Super Bowl treat yesterday and made our guests very happy. You could serve them as a Valentine's Day treat and make your true love very happy.

Everyone is happy when Zoë's pastries are in the mix!

Pavlovas with Lime Curd

Zoë Francois
Makes 12

6 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Lime Curd:
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
zest from one lime
3 Tbsp. soft butter

3 oz. white chocolate, melted
fresh berries or tropical fruit or both

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, on medium speed, beat the egg whites with the whip attachment until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until the whites are at soft peak. Slowly add the sugar in a constant stream as the eggs are whipping. Add the vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch.

Beat the eggs until they are glossy and hold a peak when lifted out of the bowl. Spoon the meringue onto the prepared cookie sheets into 12 equal mounds. Use the back of the spoon to make a well in the mound of meringue. You may need to wet the spoon slightly to do this easily.

Bake the meringues for 1 hour at 200 degrees F. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to stay in the cooling oven for another hour. This will further dry the meringue and prevent them from collapsing.

While the meringues are baking, make your lime curd:

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolks. Whisk in the sugar. Mix in the lime juice and zest.

Over a double boiler, on medium heat, stir the lemon mixture with a rubber spatula until it starts to thicken. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. When you lift the spatula out of the lemon curd, draw your finger across the spatula and it should be thick enough to hold the line.

Strain the lime curd into a large dish. Whisk in the soft butter. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

Once the meringues are done baking and cooled, paint the well of the meringue with the melted white chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set for 15 to 20 minutes. (This can be done the day before serving.)

To serve: add a spoon of the chilled lime curd, top with fresh fruit, and dust with powdered sugar.

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