Clementine Day’s Pavlova with Crème Fraiche, Blackberry Curd, and Blackberries

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, Melbourne-based cook Clementine Day shares her recipe for pavlova with crème fraiche, blackberry curd, and blackberries.

Pavlova is a true summer classic that Australians and New Zealanders love to indulge in on Christmas day. And while its provenance might be the topic of much debate, one thing we can all agree on is that this light, creamy, and fruity dessert is a true crowd-pleaser.

Clementine's irresistible version stars a crisp meringue topped with crème fraiche, a delightful blackberry curd, and fresh blackberries. She describes it as a pretty fail-safe recipe so long as you take the adding of sugar slowly and really make sure all the sugar is completely dissolved before putting in the oven. Not only does it taste delicious, but it has showstopping looks as well. You can even swap the blackberries out for your fruit of choice or something more seasonally available.

Serve as a delectable dessert on Christmas day, or even make it as a special treat to congratulate yourself after a long year. Either way, we guarantee everyone will be wanting more than just one slice. 

Ingredients

For the pavlova:

  • 6 egg whites 
  • 320g caster sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour 
For the blackberry curd:
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 extra egg yolks
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 160g unsalted butter, cubed

To serve:

  • 400ml Crème fraiche
  • 400ml pure cream
  • 2 punnets fresh blackberries
  • 8-10 sprigs of thyme, stalks removed
  • Lemon curd, optional

Method

For the pavlova

Preheat oven to 180 C. Trace out a 22cm diameter circle on a piece of baking paper and lay on a baking tray.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. 

Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition.

Note: I use setting 8 on my KitchenAid, just below high. You want each addition of sugar to completely dissolve before adding the next. Don’t rush this. I like to test it by rubbing a small bit of the mixture between my fingers to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and it’s not grainy.

Continue this until all sugar is added and beat until stiff glossy peaks once all is added. 

Add cornflour, vinegar, and cream of tartar and beat again on low until just combined, then return to just below high and beat for a few more minutes. It should be very glossy and holding its shape very easily now. If you have any graininess from the sugar at this stage continue beating until it’s completely dissolved.

Spoon out the mixture onto the circle marked on the baking tray. Try to make it as round as possible and use the back of a spoon to create fun swirls and peaks in your meringue.  

Place in the oven and drop the heat to 110 C. Cook for 1.5 hours.

When finished, turn oven off but do not open the door. Let cool completely in the oven for 5-6 hours or preferably overnight.

For the blackberry curd

In a blender, blitz the blackberries and lemon juice well. 

In a medium sized saucepan, combine sugar, eggs, extra egg yolks, blackberry and lemon juice. Whisk over medium/low heat until sugar has completely dissolved and mixture is nice and hot, but be careful not to scramble the eggs. You just want it to feel hot to the touch. 

Add your butter, one cube at a time, whisking well and letting each bit melt completely before adding the next. Once it’s all added, continue to stir until it gets nice and thick, it should thickly coat the back of a wooden spoon. 

Sieve the mixture into a jug or jar, removing any lumps of egg and the blackberry seeds, and store in the fridge until ready to use.

To serve

The next day, when your pavlova is completely ready, whisk your cream until dollopy thick and fold through your crème fraiche. If the top of your pavlova has caved in a little, don’t worry – this is the perfect place for your cream to sit.

Dollop the cream in and top with the blackberry curd and fresh blackberries.

Scatter over thyme leaves and enjoy immediately.

If you have any lemon curd at home, or can get your hands on a nice jar, I like to serve this up with the option to dollop some onto each slice of pav. The tart zestiness goes really nicely with the sweetness from the blackberries and the pavlova.

Shop Clementine's look with our Petrol tablecloth, Scalloped White & Mineral placemats, and Mineral napkins in our Build Your Own Table Bundle.

For more from Clementine follow her at @somethingsiliketocook

Photography Becca Crawford, Styling Lee Baylock

Hungry for more? Explore more recipes from our favourite home cooks here.

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