Mini Lemon Pavlovas

Meringues or mini pavlovas? It’s a real conundrum.

You see, I like to call these pavlovas because they’re meringues topped with something (lemon curd) and fruit. But typically a pavlova is a large meringue (like, huge) topped with cream and fruit. So just how important is the cream aspect of this? If it’s really important it would lead me to think that these are not mini pavlovas but meringues because of the distinct lack of cream and the tiny size.

However, my understanding of a meringue is a very small, plain egg white-based mound of goodness, which is in itself a dessert, with no additions. And so, by adding the curd and berries (and flowers) to these meringues I think it only appropriate to ensure they receive adequate naming rights; they ought to have a name that gives due recognition to the important and conspicuous addition of curd, berries and flowers that make them much more than just meringues (yes, I’m being serious). And so, that leads me to think that they are more like mini pavlovas than meringues.

Perhaps the notion of cream is merely a suggestion and not prescriptive? Perhaps the addition of a cream-replacing substance, ie. lemon curd, and fruit is enough to justify the use of pavlova, despite the small size? Or perhaps, as they are so small they are more like meringues that have a topping? Either way, I’m not quite convinced – I think I need to invent a word for this wonderful dessert.

Perhaps I care far too much about this (Hah! Maybe, just maybe…). Perhaps it doesn’t matter? Yep, you’re probably right, I shouldn’t give these things too much thought. However, I do think there is something precious in using words carefully, deliberately and correctly. Even if it is just in regards to baked-goods. And so, I give you Mini Lemon Curd Pavlovas. I’m still not convinced, so if you have an opinion, do let me know, otherwise it will bug me for at least the next 24 hours (yep, that’s how it is).


Mini Lemon Curd Pavlovas

Makes about 30 | Allow 1.5-2 hours
Adapted from Nigella Lawson


Pavlova Ingredients

3 egg whites

175g/ ¾ cup caster sugar

1 tsp corn flour (optional)

fresh berries or edible flowers for decoration (optional)


Lemon Curd Ingredients

75g unsalted butter

3 eggs (or 5 egg yolks)

75g caster sugar

zest 1 lemon

125ml lemon juice



  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C fan-forced. Line two or three trays with baking paper, set aside.
  2. Start by making the meringues: using the whisk attachment in a stand mixer (or just a hand whisk), whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  3. With the motor still running, gradually a few spoonfuls of the caster sugar at a time, leaving a few minutes between each addition.
  4. Keep whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy, and the sugar is dissolved – when you rub a little bit of the mixture between your fingers there should be no gritty sugar left. Add the corn flour and whisk to combine.
  5. Spoon small amounts of the meringue onto the lined trays in vague circle shapes – you can shape them with a spoon. Try to make the sides higher than the middle of the meringue by drawing the meringue up around the edges and away from the middle. Repeat until you’ve used all the meringue.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the meringues are firm on the outside, but not at all coloured! Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  7. While the meringues are baking, make the lemon curd. Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the eggs, sugar, zest and juice and whisk over very low heat until the mixture thickens slightly.
  8. Remove from the heat and place in the fridge to cool – it will firm on cooling.
  9. When the meringues are cool and the curd is completely cool and thick, assemble the meringues: top each meringue with a small spoonful of curd and finish with a few berries and/or flowers.


Happy Baking!



  • These are best eaten immediately or at least the same day – the curd requires refrigeration and the meringues will soften in the fridge, which is fine but they’re tasty when the meringues still have some crunch!
  • The meringues will keep for about 2 weeks in the pantry without any topping.
  • The curd will keep for about 2 weeks in a well-sealed jar in the fridge.

6 thoughts on “Mini Lemon Pavlovas

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