Lemon & Prosecco Pavlova Recipe

Our Boxing Day is to us as important (if not more!) than the big day itself. It's our huge family day with all 3 of my dad's siblings round and their respective families plus usually my grandparents and some family friends for good measure! It all kicks off after our Boxing Day 5K which a few years ago was the biggest boxing day run in the country! While slightly smaller now, we still get a local beer as a congrats at the end and usually wonderful weather so it makes it all worth it (despite my little legs meaning I always come last out of the family entrants...). To refuel all of these hungry runners a huge buffet is of course necessary and ours has quite the reputation. All of the wonderful cold cuts of baked ham, turkey, beef and my dad's famous poached whole salmon with the classic cucumber scales... Add this to pork pies and cheeses to boot and you've quite the feast! 

Desserts are always welcomed, particularly when everyone's had a little bit too much to drink and we're 4 rounds in to whatever game we've chosen for that year (the classic 3 ball snooker is one I'll have to explain to you another day)! I usually do a super-luxe chocolate log with a filling of chocolate spread, mini marshmallows and vanilla cream but this year I decided to try a pud I've never given a go - a pavlova. We had an honorary Aussie in our midst so it seemed more than fitting and after making the hollandaise for Eggs Royale for Christmas Day brekkie, it was a no brainer with all those whites spare! 

A few of you have asked for the recipe since I posted its picture in all its glory on Boxing Day eve so I thought I'd post it! I love Nigella's basic recipe but as it's Christmas it desperately needed some glamour and as it so often does in my life, Prosecco called... This is also perfect for a New Year's Eve/Day spread or indeed any time over the holiday season! 

Lemon & Prosecco Pavlova

Serves 10-12

For the meringue:

6 egg whites

375g caster sugar

2 tsp. cornflour

1 lemon, zest and 2 tbsp. juice

2 tbsp. Prosecco

 

For the topping:

A good slosh / 7 tbsp. / 100ml Prosecco

100g caster sugar

2 lemons, zest and juice

450ml double cream

2-3 tbsp. lemon curd, warm

Couple of handfuls of berries

Recipe:

Draw a 10" circle on a piece of baking parchment and turn it over onto a baking tray and set your oven to 180c. For your pav base, whisk up your eggs whites for 5 minutes or so until they have reached very stiff peaks. Slowly add your caster sugar a spoon at a time and then continue beating for a good few minutes until the meringue is lovely and glossy and holds it shape well. 

Add the cornflour, lemon zest and juice and the Prosecco and give a quick whisk to incorporate. Dot a couple of splodges of meringue onto your baking sheet to secure the paper and then spoon the meringue within the circle you've drawn. Pop into the oven and then turn it down straight away to 150c. Bake for an hour and then leave in the oven with the door cracked open with a wooden spoon overnight. It'll probably crack but gosh darnit, it's a beautiful thing when it does so fear not.

About an hour before serving, in a large bowl dissolve the sugar in the Prosecco and lemon juice. Add the cream and then whip until a lovely soft and fluffy texture is achieved. Lay your serving plate gently on top of the meringue and flip over. Dollop the cream lovingly across it in an even layer and scatter the berries atop it too. Warming the curd makes it far easier to scatter across the top so a couple of minutes on the stove should loosen it and with a spoon, you can leave little morsels of delight dotted across the pav to your heart's content! Enjoy with an extra glass of bubbly...

I'll upload my recipe for a yummy curd recipe very soon so keep an eye out! 

Limoncello Meringue Pie Recipe

Lemon meringue pie has to be one of the most famous puds out there and for good reason! This one’s been inspired by my recent trip to the Amalfi coast where the lemons are something else entirely. You could easily make this with oranges and Cointreau if you preferred but the tartness of the lemons against the sweetness of meringue makes for an unbeatable combination in my opinion. 

Makes 6

Ingredients:

300g plain flour

1 tbsp icing sugar

125g chilled unsalted butter, cubed

4 egg yolks (separated 3 and 1)

35g cornflour

250ml water

100ml lemon juice

110g caster sugar

65g chilled unsalted butter

80ml limoncello liqueur

2 egg whites

110g caster sugar

 

Method:

1.   Rub together or stick in the food processor the flour, icing sugar, 125g butter and a pinch of salt until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 yolk and 2-3 tablespoons iced water, and continue until mixture comes together in a smooth ball. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2.   Meanwhile, place cornflour in a bowl with the water and stir until smooth. Place in a pan with lemon juice and the 110g caster sugar, and stir over low heat for 5-6 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add remaining yolks, one at a time, combining well with a wooden spoon.

3.   Stir in limoncello and remaining 65g butter, then cover surface with a piece of cling film (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool.

4.   Lightly grease 4-6 tart tins. Roll out pastry and fit in the tins. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

5.   Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for 15 minutes. Pour lemon filling into the pastry cases and chill for 1 hour.

6.   Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until glossy and firm. Pipe or spoon onto tarts and either stick under the grill or torch to get toasty!