‘A weekend filled with blooming apple trees & a beautiful cloud-like citrus pavlova´
Apple Blossom Season is here to bring us joy from its speckles of white delicate flowers that light up the path of May. We took an evening route to our favorite apple orchard that are just bursting into bloom to capture a few memories as we do every year. Last year I was still able to lift Siena in my lap for some pictures but not anymore, she was outgrown in size for that already. Back home for the sake of the weekend, I decided to make a citrus pavlova for dessert. In this tiny elegant dessert, a crisp white meringue layer is filled with lemon infused whipped cream and decorated with little flowers.
I’ve learned that to keep your meringue from being flat, do not overbeat as this loses volume when other ingredients are added to the mixture. The key is to beat the whites stiff but not dry. Also, slowly fold in the sugar rather than dumping it all at a fast rate. Then beat into a thick white glossy mass. Make sure no yolks or grease gets into your whites, as this ruins the pavlova.
Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius (200 Fahrenheit) and adjust the rack to the lower part of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Slowly add in the sugar while continuously beating with an electric whisk. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Spoon the mixture on the parchment paper and shape into a circle. You can make a larger flatter version or smaller and a taller version. However, keep in mind that if you are making a taller version, it cannot take any heavy filling on top as falls through the lightness of the pavlova.
Ready to bake: Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once ready turn the oven off and leave in the hot oven (with the door slightly open) and leave in for a remaining hour. It is in this hour that the meringue will dry out completely. Then remove from oven onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
While the meringue is cooling whip the topping: Whip some cream with the sugar. Once stiff, add lemon juice and lemon zest. Once the meringue is cool add the whipped cream on top. To decorate, add a little bit more lemon zest and little flowers on top.