I’ve been promising a Pavlova recipe for ages. And while the web is doused with Pavlova recipes, I thought this white currant curd one might stand out. And stand out she does! I rigorously researched (meaning I Googled it), and I couldn’t find a white currant Pavlova or for that matter a white currant curd anywhere online.
It’s been a week since I got back from Paris, France and if you’ve been following along on my Instagram account you’ll know Pierre and I were sick for half the time we were there. Food poisoning from lightly seared tuna during a heatwave. I never seem to learn. (Second time…but the seafood stands look utterly scrumptious!) The worst part about this food poisoning story…I had forced Pierre to eat my leftover tuna (of course before I knew it was tainted), and the Airbnb we stayed at only had one toilet. Merde!
So why a Pavlova now? Before heading to Paris, Pierre had made a mental list of all the foods he wanted to eat. Meringues were one of them. As a child, Pierre and his parents would make a yearly pilgrimage from Geneva to Paris to do some shopping. Not LV or Chanel, but books and antiques. Very old and special books you’d find in the markets along the Seine river. But for Pierre, it was meringues. He’d dream of those fluffy saccharin-drenched, swirly clouds of egg whites every year as a child.
It’s been 14 or so years since we’ve both been to France and unfortunately that meringue plan never happened for Pierre. Between jet-lagged kids, food poisoning and my workshop, there were maybe at most, two days that we got to venture out …albeit with recovering woozy bellies. So for two days, we focused on showing the kids Paris’ sights and attractions much to their conspicuous lack of enthusiasm.
In the meanwhile white currant curd Pavlova for Pierre…crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside sweet meringue discs, sandwiching a sugary but tart curd topped with freshly whipped cream. Sorry Pierre! But French meringue will have to wait. First world problems. C’est la vie!
- FOR THE PAVLOVA:
- 6 Egg whites room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 300 grams or 1½ cups super fine white sugar
- 2 table spoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- FOR THE CURD:
- 10 ounces or 285 grams more or less of fresh white currants stemmed
- 4 tablespoons water
- 6 egg yolks
- 100 grams or ½ cup white sugar
- 115 grams or ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature cut into cubes
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 473 ml or 1 pint fresh heavy whipping cream
- 4 table spoons fine white sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- DIRECTIONS - PAVLOVA:
- Preheat oven with rack in middle to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw two 7 inch circles with a gap of at least 4 inches between the two circles
- In a very clean stand mixer with very clean whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on low speed and work your way up gradually to medium high speed until soft peaks are formed
- Start adding the sugar on high speed a table spoon at a time until egg whites are stiff and shiny...test by holding bowl upside down...whites shouldn't move. As well, take a bit of meringue and test between fingers...should be smooth with no grittiness left from sugar...takes about 5-7 minutes
- Sift the cornstarch over the meringue and whisk again on medium for max 5 seconds
- With spatula, gently fold in the vanilla and vinegar into the meringue until combined
- Take spatula and evenly divide the meringue into the two circles traced on the parchment paper
- Take an off set spatula and smooth out into circles and smooth out tops...you can make swirls or kisses on the side for an interesting design
- Place baking tray with meringues in 325 F pre heated oven but immediately turn down to 300 F and bake for 1 hour.
- Once bake time is finished, turn oven off, but do not remove or open door to oven!!! Leave in oven for at least 2-3 more hours. !Important otherwise major cracking and/or sinking pavlova! (keep in mind a little sinking and a little cracking is okay!)
- Allow to complete cooling outside in room temperature
- DIRECTIONS - CURD:
- While the pavlova is baking, in a medium saucepan, cook the stemmed white currants and the water for about 5 minutes all the while mashing them with a potato masher
- Once the berries have reduced, remove from heat and push the currant puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl... (you'll be left with about ¾ cup of currant puree) ..discard seeds and skin
- In a clean saucepan over medium heat add the egg yolks, sugar and white currant puree until well mixed and dissolved- whisking constantly about 4 minutes
- Add butter cubes one at a time once mixture warms up and is lightly bubbling and whisk frequently for another 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and bubbling
- Strain through sieve into a bowl (for quicker cooler, use a baking tray lined with parchment paper.)
- Cover with plastic film so it touches the curd and refrigerate
- DIRECTIONS - WHIPPED CREAM:
- Take a clean stand mixer bowl, the whisk attachment, the cream and pop in freezer for 10 minutes
- Put the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in the cold stand mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for 1-1½ minutes or until medium stiff peaks form - do not over mix!
- ASSEMBLING PAVLOVA:
- Place first meringue layer down on your cake stand, take an offset spatula and spread the cooled down white currant curd evenly over the layer
- Place next meringue layer on top ...top with all the whipped cream
- Garnish with some white currant berries
- Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days, however be aware pav will become soggy. Best to consume same day it's been prepared.
- Pavlova discs can be made a few days in advance and stored at room temperature in an air tight container with parchment paper between the discs to avoid them from sticking