Meringue with lemon curd, cream, hazelnuts, primroses and sorrel

This pretty Easter pavlova really makes the most of good free eggs, Crisp and sweet pillowy meringue generously topped with sharp fragrant lemony curd. If you have primroses in the garden then scatter a few over, they have a subtle floral note and look absolutely lovely.

Wild sorrel has a taste like lemony gooseberries, it’s sharp and colourful and a smart foil to sugary meringue. 

Ingredients 

For the meringue

4 egg whites

200g of unrefined caster sugar

For the lemon curd

Finely grated zest of 3 lemons

200ml lemon juice

125g unsalted butter

450g Caster or granulated sugar

4 large eggs whisked

To serve

300ml of double cream

35g Toasted hazel nuts lightly bashed

A small bunch of fresh primroses flowers picked

Small handful of young sorrel leaves

 

Method 

Pre-heat the oven to 120.c

To make the meringue place the egg whites in a large clean bowl or in the bowl of you kitchen food mixer. Whisk with a hand help electric whisk or switch the machine on and beat until the whites hold soft peaks.

Add the sugar, 1 large spoonful at a time until it is all incorporated. Continue to whisk for 6 – 8 minutes until the meringue is thick, pale smooth and glossy.

Lightly grease a sheet of baking parchment and lay over a large flat baking tray at least 30cm x 30cm in size.

Spoon the meringue onto the tray.  Try to make a large round with slightly peaked edges. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 120.c then turn the oven down to 90.c and cook for a further 2 hours.

Remove and allow to cool. If your not using the meringue straight away, store in an airtight container.

 

To make the lemon curd,

 

Put the lemon zest and juice, butter and sugar into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Slowly whisk until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour in the eggs and whisk every few moments until thick and creamy; this will take about 8 - 10 minutes.  

As soon as it has thickened, pour the lemon curd through a sieve into a clean bowl, you may have to encourage the curd through, as it will now be quite thick. Leave to cool completely before refrigerating.

 

To serve

 

Whisk the double cream until thick and pillowy. Spoon the cream over the meringue base spreading it roughly out towards the edges. Generously top the cream with the chilled lemon curd, swirling it out and over, then sprinkle

with the hazel nuts. These add a lovely toasted texture.

Finish the meringue with freshly picked primrose flowers (if they are in season) and a little scattering of citrusy sorrel. Serve straight away.

Any remaining lemon curd will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.