It is Monday, so it is time for another recipe makeover. I love to take favorite recipes and make them THM friendly. One of the biggest hurdles people have to overcome is thinking that healthy eating means never having their favorite foods again. The truth is that you can make a healthy version of almost any meal. And most meals don’t require that much work to re-make!
Pavlova sounds exotic! I mean, it sounds so much more exciting than meringue, but that is basically all it is. I had people telling me I should try this recipe and honestly it kinda scared me. But it was so simple and SO worth it! I can’t get over how much I LOVE this dessert.
Let’s talk a little bit first however about a few things that can go wrong when you are making a pavlova. I can already hear people who know what a pavlova is SUPPOSED to look like saying that mine is not right. The truth is that pavlova SHOULD be more white than brown and I know that mine is a lovely tan color, not white at all. Here is one of the first problems that you can encounter…humidity. It has only been raining here for about 40 days and 40 nights…okay, maybe not THAT long, but it has been very wet and very humid. Even though I made it in my nice dry house, that humidity made my meringue not want to dry out. I had to keep cooking it to get it to be dry to the touch so I got more browning than I should have. I must say, however, that while it might not win any presentation awards, it turned out beautiful in both taste and texture. It has a lovely crisp shell and a tender center!
Another thing you want to be sure to do is get your sweetener fully incorporated. If you don’t get your sweetener fully dissolved, your pavlova can “leak” or ooze a syrup while it is baking. However, even if you do get your sweetener fully incorporated this can happen if it is very humid…ask me how I know… This is not the end of the world. I was really worried this recipe would be “fussy”, and while there are things that can go wrong along the way to lessen the presentation aspect of the pavlova, I found out that most of those things don’t really damage the taste in the end. 🙂
I encourage you to make these the day before you want to serve them, not because they don’t taste fantastic the first day, they do! But if you have any issues with humidity at all you may have a hard time getting them “done” on a time crunch. Making them up in the evening and letting them sit in the oven overnight to finish drying out can solve this problem. I will admit, I couldn’t wait, so the first night I ate one that had cooled, but wasn’t finished drying out. It was delicious, but when I had one the next day that had finished drying, oh my…the right texture made all the difference!
What You Will Need:
For Pavlova Base
For Lemon Curd
For Strawberry Topping
Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Strawberries ~ THM S
- 4 large egg whites use the yolks for lemon curd
- 1/2 cup xes sweetener or gentle sweet
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon oat fiber
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup xes sweetener or gentle sweet
- 1/3 cup lemon juice or juice of about 3 lemons
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons butter softened to room temperature
- 1 pound of fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons xes sweetener or gentlesweet optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar in 2 tablespoons at a time, beating for 30 seconds between, then continue beating on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. The peaks should be stiff enough that you can hold the whisk upright and the peaks won’t move.
- Add the vanilla extract, cream of tartar and oat fiber and beat for 1 more minute. The peaks should still be very stiff. If not, keep on mixing on high speed.
For Mini Pavlovas:
- Divide pavlova mixture up into 6 individual portions. You can pipe these if you want but a piping tip isn’t necessary– you can just spoon it on like I did. Make sure you leave a dip in the center to hold the toppings.
- Place baking sheet in the oven, close the door and immediately turn heat down to 200°F. Bake for 50 -60 minutes at 200°F until the pavlova is dry to the touch. Try to limit how many times you open the oven as the cool air will interrupt the baking.
- Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool inside the oven. Once the pavlova is cool, you can store it covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or serve right away. Once cool, top the pavlova with lemon curd and strawberries (or other toppings) and serve immediately. If making ahead, do not top the pavlova until you are ready to serve.
For One Large Pavlova:
- Spread the pavlova mixture into an 8-9-inch circle. You can make decorative peaks with the back of a large spoon or pipe the mixture if desired. Make sure the edges are taller and there is a dip in the center.
- Place pavlova in the oven. As soon as you close the oven door, reduce heat to 200°F. Bake until the pavlova is dry to the touch, about 90 minutes total. Rotate the baking sheet if you notice some spots browning. Try to limit how many times you open the oven as the cool air will interrupt the baking. Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool inside the oven.
- Once cool, top the pavlova with lemon curd and strawberries (or other toppings) and slice and serve immediately. If making ahead, do not top the pavlova until you are ready to serve.
- Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with 1-2 inches of water. Place on high heat. Once the water begins to boil, reduce to low heat to keep the water at a simmer.
- Place egg yolks, sweetener, lemon juice, and salt into the top pot of your double boiler. Whisk until completely blended.
- Continue to whisk as the curd cooks to keep the egg yolks from curdling. Whisk and cook until the mixture becomes thick, resembling the texture of hollandaise sauce, about 10 minutes. If curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk.
- Remove pan from heat. Cut the butter into 6 separate pieces, then stir into the curd until fully melted and incorporated.
- Pour curd into a jar or bowl.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top so it is touching the top of the curd to keep a skin from forming on top. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Once cool, the plastic wrap can be removed. Refrigerate the curd for up to about 10 days.
- You can just slice the strawberries and top the pavlova with them as they are if you’d like. You can also slice them and put them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sweetener to sweeten them if you’d like. This will cause the berries to release some juices and make a “sauce” as well. If you choose to do this, as I did, you will want to use a slotted spoon to dip the berries out for the pavlova so that you don’t get too much moisture on your dessert.
Do you have a favorite recipe you would like me to THM’ify? Comment below and I will see what I can do!
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