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Fresh fruit and cream meringue pavlova

This is the dessert I made yesterday – a layered meringue with a freshly whipped lemon cream filling topped with vanilla whipped cream and garnished with fresh organic fruit. I made the meringue layers using this recipe, but instead made two 8″ circles. Then, using a pint of heavy whipping cream, I made a batch of freshly whipped cream, which I divided into two bowls. The first bowl was for the filling. I added about a half a jar of lemon curd and about a 1/3 cup of sour cream and mixed it all together. The second bowl was for the topping, to which I added only some Swedish vanilla sugar (from Ikea) and some regular powdered sugar, until it was slightly sweet, enough to balance the tartness of the lemon cream. Then I decorated the top with freshly sliced strawberries and blueberries.

This dessert got rave reviews (and requests for second helpings), but I made a tactical error in assembling it too early. In order to keep the meringue crisp, this dessert should be assembled just before eating. Otherwise the meringues become soft, just like the whipped cream layers. It didn’t alter the taste, but the texture was all creamy, no crunch. I think if I decide to make this dessert again and want to do it ahead of time, I’ll scoop the creams and fruit into individual cups, and then top with a piece of crisp meringue, right before serving.

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