Chef of the Evening – Berry Pavlova with Lemon Whipped Cream

The Chefs are:  Don & Mary Ann Mayer

This classic berry pavlova recipe filled with lemon whipped cream filling and garnished with assorted summer berries.

Pavlova (named after the ballerina Anna Pavlova) is a crisp,

yet soft meringue shell, fresh fruit topping, and some variety of whipped cream filling.

 Meringue Ingredients:

  • 4large egg whites room temperature
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1cup (200 g) fine caster or granulated sugar
  • ½teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Lemon Berry Filling:

  • cups (300 mL) heavy whipping cream cold
  • 3tablespoons high-quality store-bought or homemade lemon curd
  • 1teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zestof 1 lemon
  • 2cups fresh mixed berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • confectioner’s sugar for garnishing (optional)


Prepare the Meringue Shell: Preheat your oven to 275°F with a rack in the center position. Using parchment paper, trace a 8-inch diameter circle on the paper with a pencil. Flip the parchment paper over, so that the pencil side is facing down.

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl. Whisk over medium speed until the egg whites soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to high. Slowly add the sugar, sprinkling in one tablespoon at a time, and continue beating for roughly 3 minutes. Continue to whisk over high speed until the meringue mixture reaches stiff peaks and is glossy, an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract, cornstarch and lemon juice, and whisk on high speed for an additional minute until well combined. Fold with a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated well.

Gently transfer the meringue to the center of the circle on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Smooth the meringue into a thick disk using the edges of the circle as a rough guide. The meringue should be roughly about 2½ to 3 inches tall.

Bake the meringue until crisp, pale in color, and dry to touch, roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop open the oven door. Allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 to 1½ hours. It should be crisp, dry to touch, and have a slightly cracked appearance.

 Prepare the lemon berry filling: Just before serving, place the chilled heavy cream in a clean bowl and beat the cream, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to high, until it reaches soft peaks. Using a spatula, fold in the lemon curd, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

 Carefully transfer the meringue shell to a flat serving platter; meringues are very fragile, so you may want to use the parchment paper to do this or alternatively, serve it on the sheet pan. Top the meringue with the lemon curd cream, followed by the mixed berries, and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve in large scoops. Pavlova is best enjoyed the day it is baked, as meringue will gain moisture and lose its crispness with time; leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.