A Light and AIRY Dessert for summer
Once again, we were inspired by Biscuit and Pickles Catering Executive Chef and founder Dustin Joseph who recently paired our 2021 Pinot Gris Reserve with a lighter than air vanilla bean pavlova topped with lycee mallow, sous vide pineapple, and brûléed golden apples. The magic of this pairing is the amplification of the tropical and orchard fruit notes that hint at the wine’s sweeter facets, even though it is bone dry (If you’re a club member, you will get to sample this pairing during our summer soirée.)
We decided to create our own iteration of this classic dessert, with an emphasis on bold citrus flavor provided by the lemon curd. If you are inclined to put in the time and effort it takes to make it from scratch, you’ll find it to be a fantastic addition. You can make the lemon curd well in advance, and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You can also zhuzh it up with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh lemon zest or mint, whichever you fancy.
FOR THE CURD
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
FOR THE MERINGUE
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
heavy whipped cream, if desired
fresh mint or lemon zest for a garnish
Use a zester or a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemons, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. Place the zest in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is fragrant and light yellow in color. Set aside.
Strain the yolks into a large saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon mixture to the yolks, whisking them together to help dissolve the sugar. Stir in the lemon juice, then cook over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken, at around 170° F, or just below simmer.
Remove the curd from the heat and stir in the butter, until melted and evenly incorporated.
Strain the curd into a jar or lidded bowl and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until the whites are glossy and stiff. Gently fold in the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon six evenly sized dollops of the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, smooth out each mound into a circle that is approximately 4-inches in diameter.
Transfer the sheet to the oven and lower the heat to 275°, and bake 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the pavlovas sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove the pavlovas from the oven, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely.
Assemble the pavlovas just before serving them. I usually beat the whipped cream while the pavlovas are cooling. Spread a few spoonfuls of the lemon curd on top of each pavlova. If desired, top with whipped cream and garnish with lemon zest or fresh mint. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of pinot gris!