Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries

|
5 from 2 votes
Light, crispy meringue topped with tangy lemon curd and fresh berries.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Pavlova topped with lemon curd and fresh berries on a cake stand.

This dreamy dessert may look difficult, but it’s really nothing more than a big baked meringue. Pavlova, with its crisp outer crust and soft, light interior, is perfect any time of year but when fresh berries are in season it’s an absolute delight. Serve my Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries and get raves from your friends and family!

A Pavlova is all about textures. From the crunchy outer shell to the pillowy, marshmallow-like inside, this is a dessert to savor. And even though there are probably hundreds of variations with every flavor and fruit combination you can imagine, I think this combination of lemon curd and fresh berries is my absolute favorite.

Pavlova topped with lemon curd and fresh berries on a cake stand.

Pavlova was originally created in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova when she toured Australia and New Zealand in the early 20th century. Both countries claim it as a national dish with good reason. It’s delicious!

Just imagine a big, fluffy meringue topped with a mixture of sweet lemon curd and tangy sour cream garnished with the freshest berries of the season. Dreamy is the perfect description. And you don’t even have to make the lemon curd from scratch. Just grab a jar off the grocery store shelf. It’s good stuff.

Lana's Cooking Free Cookbook Cover
Get a Free Cookbook!

Subscribe now to receive our FREE Favorite Recipes digital cookbook with 10 amazing recipes inside!


  • It’s impressive looking.
  • Tastes divine.
  • There are hundreds of variations and ways to make this recipe your own.
  • Honestly, it’s really simple to make.

About the Ingredients

  • Sugar (regular white granulated)
  • Cornstarch
  • Egg whites (must be at room temperature, no exceptions)
  • Cream of tartar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Purchased lemon curd (I use the Dickinson’s brand. I can’t tell it from homemade.)
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh berries (I prefer a mix of raspberries and blueberries)
  • Lemon zest

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

Whip the Egg Whites

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Use a fork to mix them together until they’re well combined.

Beating egg whites in a stand mixer bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites for 1 minute at a medium-high speed. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until blended.

COOK’S TIP 
Beating the egg whites is much, much easier by using either a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer. It can, however, be done by hand using a whisk.

Add the Sugar

Adding sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla to beaten egg whites.

Begin adding the sugar-cornstarch mixture to the egg whites, one tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites are glossy and have formed stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat, but make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Beat in the vanilla.

COOK’S TIP 
I like to use clear vanilla to keep the meringue as purely white as possible.

Form the Meringue

Meringue formed into a circle on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and gently spread the meringue mixture into a 7-inch circle. Make a slight indentation in the center of the meringue where you will later place the lemon curd filling.

Bake the meringue for 1 hour, 30 minutes, or until barely pale golden and the outside has formed a crust. Turn the oven off and let the meringue stand in the oven with the light on for 12 hours. (The waiting is the hardest part :-))

Top the Finished Pavlova

Lemon curd and sour cream in a small mixing bowl.

When ready to serve, stir together the lemon curd and sour cream in a small bowl..

Topping the meringue with the lemon curd mixture.

Spoon the lemon curd and sour cream mixture into the center of the cooled meringue.

Top with berries and grated lemon zest.

COOK’S TIP 
Be aware that the center of the meringue may fall or crush when the curd and berries are applied. That’s perfectly normal.

Pavlova topped with lemon curd and fresh berries on a cake stand.
Pin This Recipe for Later

Recipe Success Tips

  • Make sure the mixing bowl, beaters (or whisk), and spatula are spotlessly clean (even the tiniest bit of oil or grease can cause the meringue to fall or not rise).
  • Have the egg whites at room temperature. Cold whites won’t whip up as well.
  • Check to make sure all the sugar is completely dissolved in the whipped meringue.
  • When separating the eggs, make absolutely sure that not even a tiny speck of yolk gets into the whites.
  • Keep the oven door closed during the baking time.
  • Wait until you’re ready to serve to add the lemon curd and berries.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Substitute sweetened whipped cream for the lemon curd and sour cream mixture.
  • Use a combination of strawberries, kiwi, and sliced banana in place of the berries.
  • Instead of using fruit, top your Pavlova with whiskey-flavored whipped cream and drizzle with melted chocolate.
  • Substitute sliced, sweetened peaches and fresh raspberries for the fruit topping.
  • Top with sweetened whipped cream and crumbled cookies of your choice (oreos are great!).

Storage

It’s possible to store leftovers in a well sealed container for a short time, but this dessert is best enjoyed the day after baking it.

FAQs

Can I make Pavlova ahead?

To make your Pavlova in advance, prepare and bake the meringue making sure to allow for the standing time in the oven. Carefully remove the meringue from the baking sheet and store it at room temperature (not in the fridge!) in a tightly sealed container or bag for 1 to 2 days. When ready to serve, top with lemon curd and berries.

How do I know if the Pavlova is done?

When the Pavlova is done, the exterior will look dry. A very thin skewer inserted in the meringue should come out with a bit of thick, sticky consistency.

Why did my Pavlova go flat?

A flat Pavlova can sometimes be attributed to a very humid environment. If the meringue doesn’t have adequate time or the proper environment to dry out, the Pavlova may not rise as much as expected. Make sure to leave the oven door closed during the entire baking time and to allow adequate time for it to sit in the oven after baking.

Also, make sure that all your utensils (bowls, beaters, spoons, spatulas) are very clean and free of oils and grease. Avoid using a plastic bowl for mixing since they tend to retain oils and grease more than metal.

Do I have to use parchment paper to line the baking sheet?

I do recommend using parchment paper to line the baking sheet as a precaution against the Pavlova sticking. Waxed paper can be used as a substitute but it will have a greater tendency to stick to the baked meringue.

Is Pavlova supposed to crack?

It’s expected that the Pavlova will crack in several places (especially after adding the toppings) and may have some small pieces fall off. For best results, apply the toppings only when ready to serve.

How do I know if all the sugar is dissolved?

To tell whether all the sugar has dissolved into the egg whites, take a tiny amount between your thumb and finger and feel for any grittiness. If you feel it, the sugar hasn’t completely dissolved.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d love for you to give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or in the comments section further down. You can always stay in touch on social media by following me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest and Sign Up to Get my Newsletter, too!

Recipe

Pavlova topped with lemon curd and fresh berries on a cake stand.

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries

Light, crispy meringue topped with tangy lemon curd and fresh berries.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 egg whites room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces purchased lemon curd (recommended: Dickinson's brand)
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups Fresh berries (more if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Use a fork to mix them together until they're well combined..
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites for 1 minute at a medium-high speed. A stand or hand-held mixer may be used.
  • Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until blended.
  • Begin adding the sugar-cornstarch mixture to the egg whites, one tablespoon at a time, until the egg white mixture is glossy and has formed stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat, but make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and gently spread the meringue mixture into a 7-inch circle. Make a slight indentation in the center of the meringue where you will later place the filling.
  • Bake for 1 hour, 30 minutes or until barely pale golden and the outside has formed a crust. Turn the oven off and let the meringue stand in the oven with the light on for 12 hours.
  • When ready to serve, whisk together the lemon curd and sour cream. Spoon into the center of the cooled meringue. Top with berries and lemon zest.

Notes

Tips
  • Make sure the mixing bowl, beaters (or whisk), and spatula are spotlessly clean (even the tiniest bit of oil or grease can cause the meringue to fall or not rise).
  • Have the egg whites at room temperature. Cold white won’t whip up as well.
  • Check to make sure all the sugar is completely dissolved in the whipped meringue.
  • When separating the eggs, make absolutely sure that not even a tiny speck of yolk gets into the whites.
  • Keep the oven door closed during the baking time.
  • Wait until you’re ready to serve to add the lemon curd and berries.
  • The center of the meringue may fall or crush when the curd and berries are applied. That’s perfectly normal.
Substitutions and Alternatives
  • Substitute sweetened whipped cream for the lemon curd and sour cream mixture.
  • Use a combination of strawberries, kiwi, and sliced banana in place of the berries.
  • Top your Pavlova with whiskey-flavored whipped cream and drizzle with melted chocolate.
  • Substitute sliced, sweetened peaches and fresh raspberries for the fruit topping.
  • Top with sweetened whipped cream and crumbled cookies of your choice (oreos are great!).
Storage
It’s possible to store leftovers in a well sealed container for a short time, but this dessert is best enjoyed the day after baking it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make Pavlova ahead? To make your Pavlova in advance, prepare and bake the meringue making sure to allow for the standing time in the oven. Carefully remove the meringue from the baking sheet and store it at room temperature (not in the fridge!) in a tightly sealed container or bag for 1 to 2 days. When ready to serve, top with lemon curd and berries.
How do I know if the Pavlova is done? When the Pavlova is done, the exterior will look dry. A very thin skewer inserted in the meringue should come out with a thick, sticky consistency.
Why did my Pavlova go flat? A flat Pavlova can sometimes be attributed to very humid environments. If the meringue doesn’t have adequate time or the proper environment to dry out, the Pavlova may not rise as much as expected. Make sure to leave the oven door closed during the entire baking time and to allow adequate time for it to sit in the oven after baking.
Also, make sure that all your utensils (bowl, beaters, spoons, spatulas) are very clean and free of oils and grease. Avoid using a plastic bowl for mixing since they tend to retain oils and grease more than metal.
Do I have to use parchment paper to line the baking sheet? I do recommend using parchment paper to line the baking sheet as a precaution against the Pavlova sticking. Waxed paper can be used as a substitute but it will have a greater tendency to stick to the baked meringue.
Is Pavlova supposed to crack? It’s expected that the Pavlova will crack in several places (especially after adding the toppings) and may have some small pieces fall off. For best results, apply the toppings when ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

Share on Facebook Pin Recipe
Tried this recipe? Pin it for Later!Follow @LanasCookingBlog or tag #LanasCooking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. what a great recipe! just what i was looking for, thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks for asking, Dinah. I did the drawing, notified the winner *twice* and never got a response. I drew again this morning and have notified that person. If she doesn’t respond by tomorrow morning, I guess I’ll draw a third time. Never had this problem with a giveaway before!

  3. Oh, that looks sooo good! I have made this before and I am familiar with how wonderful it tastes. :) Nice job.

  4. Not entering the giveaway, I’m a Canuck, but wanted to say how gorgeous this is. It’s absolutely stunning. I love pavlova with curb and berries. It’s such an elegant dessert.

  5. Ever since I saw Nigella make a pavlova on Nigella Bites eons ago, I have wanted to do one. I LOVE how you combined the lemon and berries – sounds delicious!

  6. I’ve always wanted to make a pavlova but never have. Yours looks so lovely, Lana! Love the lemon curd and berries you’ve topped yours with!

  7. This is so impressive! I love it! My mother always made homemade meringues, they were the best!

  8. My husband in fact mentioned he had pavlova at a colleague’s house. They are from Australia. He was raving about her pavlova. I bet it will be a great surprise if I make your recipe here for him. :)

  9. This looks fantastic. Every time that I have tried to make meringue shells they get tough and soggy. I think that is due to the humidity in our area. I am going to try this one and see if I can have some success with it.

  10. I love pavlovas and think they are actually timeless; they hit all the right notes with me!

  11. Oh…. my. I am speechless. That looks WONDERFUL!!! What an impressive dessert for my next gathering.