This fabulous showstopper of a dessert that literally bursts with flavor: a crispy pavlova with a marshmallowy center is topped with tart, lush pomegranate curd made from fresh pomegranate and whipped cream and finished with more fresh pomegranate arils.
This fabulous showstopper of a dessert literally bursts with flavor: a crispy pavlova with a marshmallowy center is topped with tart, lush pomegranate curd made from fresh pomegranate and whipped cream and finished with more fresh pomegranate arils.
Do you know what tastes great with pomegranate? EVERYTHING. No, seriously. It goes great in pie. In salad. On hummus. In meat dishes. With rice. In a breakfast bowl/smoothies. In any dessert you can think of! Literally anything works with pomegranate. And this is why I love it.
And for this recipe, I just really wanted to mound a mountain of pomegranate on top of a pavlova. I knew it would work amazingly well. The sharpness of the curd and fresh arils contrast so well with the softly sweet meringue bits. This is a christmas showstopper, for sure.
It is really, really important to use freshly juiced arils for the pomegranate juice in this recipe. Store-bought pomegranate juice is not as flavorful and won’t come through in the final curd recipe.
My recipe is simple, and a lot like lemon curd: you’ll simply whisk most of the ingredients together, then add a cornstarch mixture and cook until thick. I add the butter after the curd is done cooking as I believe it leads to a more silky finish. Also, always always sieve the curd after it cooks, this removes any bits of egg and zest.
This recipe makes more than you’ll need for the pavlova. Store it in the fridge, it’ll keep for 3-4 weeks. You can use it to swirl around cheesecake, over meringues or pavlovas, and most definitely over pancakes or french toast… anywhere you would use lemon curd!
I mention this before: Almost every pavlova/meringue recipe follows the ratio of 1/4 cup sugar (52g) per 1 large egg white. Notable pavlova recipes that I’ve learned from and have developed my own recipe from are Nigella’s, Zoe’s and Ottolenghi’s.
I use and instruct to follow the swiss method which is warming egg whites and sugar together (while whisking) over simmering water to dissolve the sugar. You’ll do a pinch test to check for sugar granules and when you can detect none, transfer the mix to a stand mixer and whisk it until it’s at stiff peaks.
Here I add salt (sometimes I add the vanilla early too) and then I whip it until it’s almost at stiff peaks – it takes a while, sometimes a full ten minutes. At this point you’ll add the vinegar and sprinkle over the cornstarch. These two last ingredients give the pavlova it’s signature texture: crispy on the outside and marshmallowy soft inside.
Collapsing and seeping are bigger problems than cracking when it comes to a pavlova. A few cracks will be covered by the toppings so don’t sweat them too much. If the pavlova completely collapses or you see sugar seeping out something went wrong and is related to one of the following:
Things we can control: cleaning our tools, paying attention to the meringue stages.
Oils that were on your baking tools or egg yolks that weren’t correctly separate have fats that inhibit the process of beating & aerating.
Cracking, weeping and collapsing pavlovas are usually because the sugar didn’t dissolve fully before the meringue went into the oven OR because they weren’t beaten correctly.
Use the pinch test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved before you take it off the bain marie. This means sticking your thumb and index finger into the mix and ‘pinching’ it to see how it feels. If you feel granules of sugar, it’s not dissolved yet.
Beating: beat until stiff peaks which means until you can remove the whisk attachment and the meringue holds shape. Don’t overbeat beyond this point.
Things we can only try to control: the weather! Humid and or rainy days can work against a meringue because they add moisture into the air which will stop the meringue from aerating.
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