Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (see Tips)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 cup superfine sugar (see Note)
For Topping :
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons confectionersâ€™ sugar
To prepare lemon curd: Whisk whole egg, 2 egg whites, granulated sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Add butter and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough that drawing your finger across a coated spoon leaves a mark, 5 to 12 minutes. Do not let the sauce come to a simmer. Pour the hot curd through a fine-meshed sieve into a small bowl, pressing on the solids. Let cool slightly and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.
To prepare meringue: Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle with a pencil in the center of the paper to use as a guide for your pavlova, then turn the paper over so itâ€™s pencil-side down. Beat 4 egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the mixer speed to high and gradually beat in superfine sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. .
Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to spread the meringue into a 9-inch circle on the parchment. Smooth and level the center and make the edges slightly higher so there is a shallow depression in the middle. (It does not have to be completely smooth). Bake the meringue for 1 hour.
Reduce the oven temperature to 200° and continue baking for 1 hour more. The meringue should feel firm when gently touched.
Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the meringue sit in the oven until cool, about 1 hour. (As it cools, the exterior will crack in spots).
To prepare topping: Just before serving, whip cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until starting to thicken. Add confectionersâ€™ sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.
To assemble pavlova: Use a large spatula or chefâ€™s knife to carefully separate the meringue from the parchment and slide it onto a large flat serving platter. Fill the center depression with the lemon curd and pile the whipped cream in the center of the curd. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Serve immediately.