Damn she fine. Is there anything more beautiful that a dreamy cloud of pavlova? Oh, maybe just a dreamy cloud of pavlova topped with a dollop of blood orange curd and topped with jewel-like slices of blood orange.
I know I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it, this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. The textural interplay between the crisp exterior of the pavlova, the marshmallow-y interior and the rich decadence of the curd is divine.
Honestly, I think I could sit down and eat an entire bowl of the blood orange curd, it’s just that good. Plus, this recipe will give you perfectly portioned individual servings which just amplifies the cuteness factor of the whole thing.
Ugh, if I had any talent for writing poetry, I would write a sonnet to this dessert.
Don’t let the length of time you’ll need to make this dessert deter you, it’s worth every second of effort. Plus, when it comes down to it, it’s not that much hands-on time, it will just monopolize your oven for a few hours.
This was actually my first time making a pavlova and I’m pleased to say it went off without a hitch. You know how some people do “anxiety baking”? It’s when they bake to relieve their anxiety. In my case, baking gives me anxiety.
While I generally find my time in the kitchen quite restorative, baking stresses me out a bit. It’s all so precise and I wasn’t that great in chemistry class in high school. I have PTSD from too many soufflés collapsing.
Last year I wanted to make a beautiful coconut cream pie for the blog but failed to adequately whisk the cornstarch in while I was making the filling and ended up with lumpy coconut soup in the centre of a meticulously formed graham cracker crust.
But, you either succeed or you learn, right? Well, that failed coconut cream pie was certainly a learning experience, I whisked the blood orange curd herein diligently, terrified of letting history repeat itself on the cornstarch front.
If you are an anxiety baker, or not, I hope you’ll find an opportunity to whip up this dreamy dessert in the near future.
Vanilla Pavlova with Blood Orange Curd
- 4 egg whites at room temperature (you can save the yolks for the blood orange curd recipe below)
- 1 cup sugar preferably superfine
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Blood orange zest from two blood oranges
- 1/2 cup blood orange juice about 4 blood oranges
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 whole egg plus three yolks
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter cubed
Beat room temperature egg whites on medium-high until thick. With the motor running, add the sugar very slowly.
Add salt, cream of tartar and the vanilla. Continue beating on high until mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form.
Drop 6 scoops of the mixture, about 1/2 cup each, onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a spoon to make a well in the center of each pavlova.
Bake for 2 hours at 200° Fahrenheit. Turn the oven off and allow pavlovas to cool in the oven with the door ajar for 2 more hours. A wooden spoon works well to keep the door open. Pavlovas can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.
Combine the zest, juices, sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a small saucepan and whisk until combined. Add the butter and cook over medium/low heat. Whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Allow cooling to room temp. You can refrigerate until ready to use, up to three days.
Recipe adapted from: Egan, Kelly. “Blood Orange Curd Topped Vanilla Bean Pavlovas.” A Side of Sweet.