If you just had a difficult day or Monday was a tough start of the week, I recommend you have a BIG piece of this lemon curd and berries pavlova. I did it…I had one for breakfast yesterday, and I felt good. I was supposed to go for a run yesterday morning but instead, I had a delicious breakfast 😉 by the evening I felt guilty about it and went for a run…while was heavily raining, but was still nice.
I love summer rain, I like the smell of wet dust and the big water drops on my warm skin. I feel like I have to preserve this memory for later when the hills will be covered in white and cold snow, and summer seems forever forgotten.
This week will be a busy one, and to be honest how the weather is now, I am not tempted anymore to dream about sun cream and summer cocktails. I just hope everything will go as planned 🙂
But lately, I find difficult to concentrate on my things and I have the feeling there are so many things left to be done (this is a big truth), which includes among others…buying a summer dress for me, shopping with my daughter for flip flops, searching what books to take with me in the summer holiday, where to find the best beaches and restaurants in Mallorca (by the way…your recommendations are more than welcomed!), where I can find super fine almond flour (in Switzerland…), testing different food styling scenarios for my photos, try a new recipe for blueberry muffins which I have in mind for months now, making time in my daily routine for 15 min yoga practice…and the list can go like this for pages 🙁
The thing is that I have noticed that being tensed or angry, or just upset about something (usually small things which have a big impact on me) has a huge impact on me and my daily routine, on the way I think about my business and also for me as a mother.
I want to be a cool mother, and my daughter to see me more as a friend than a mother. Well that is not always possible, especially when I ask her for example to clean her room and she does not want to, using as an argument that her room is clean (but not according to my standards) 🙂 yeap…in that moments, I am not a very good friend of her, I am her mother!
As a child, I did not grow in the countryside, and I missed that a lot. Neither now me and my family, we live in a small village close to Zürich, but I was trying to expose my daughter to the farm experiences much more than I was as a child. So I was happily proposing her for days to go picking up strawberries at a farm close by. But every time I got a no as an answer, because the Barbie doll needs a bath, or because there is this puzzle she did not make for a long time, or because she is tired and 5 minutes later she was dancing and jumping around. Ok, I got it, she did not want to go…but I wanted so much we go 🙂
So one day I told her that we go to pick up strawberries, did not ask if she wants to or when we go, I just said let’s go. And she was ok with the idea…if I knew earlier was so easy. Anyway, I am still driving, and we could see the farm on left side of the road and lots of people and kids running around and pick up strawberries. I got so scared as I still driving and she literally starts screaming…oh, this is so nice, look at all these kids playing around, and so many strawberries…and…why we did not come earlier?! 🙂 exactly! why!? We park the car and by the time I go out, she was already on the strawberries field laughing and running around.
There was a sweet smell in the air while the sun was going down over the lake, and everything around us looked beautiful. I do not know if was the time we spent together laughing and eating strawberries, the magical sunset, and the warm orange sunlight, or just all together, but that evening was so calm and easy and remembered me that simple things can make us happy.
Life is difficult and tricky sometimes, and I need to learn to disconnect more from the daily crazy routine and have more moments like this. After 4 boxes filled with fresh strawberries, I negotiated our leave. She wanted to pick up all of them 🙂
Still having these memories in my mind, I want to prepare a pavlova with berries (the blueberries we picked them ourselves as well from another farm). In case you do not have any farm around you for self-picking, check the seasonal fruit offer from Farmy.
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar
18 drops lemon juice
1/4 tsp of salt
360ml double cream
2 tbsp powder sugar
2 egg yolks
130g caster sugar
112g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
200g mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc)
1. Preferably use a stainless steel or glass bowl, but not plastic for whipping the egg whites.
2. Make sure the bowls and all the utensils are clean and dry. Even a little bit of fat from the egg yolks or another source can ruin the meringue.
3. Separate the eggs when are still cold, they separate better this way. Bring the eggs to room temperature before whipping them, so you get a nice volume.
4. Once the meringue is whipped, try to turn upside down the bowl, should not fall 🙂
5. Be patient with the lemon curd…takes a little bit of time to thicken.
Heat the oven to 150 degrees.
Whip egg whites together with the lemon juice until foamy. Add the sugar, spoon by spoon until fully incorporated. When all the sugar is incorporated into the mixture, add the salt. The meringue should look stiff and glossy.
With a pen draw a circle of 23cm diameter on a baking sheet. Turn over the baking sheet on the other side, and distribute the meringue to fit the shape you draw. Try to make the edges a little bit taller to leave space in the middle for the cream and decorations.
Decrease the oven temperature to 110 degrees and bake the meringue for 2h. After, leave the meringue in the oven, for another 2h, until completely cooled (do not open the door of the oven in between).
In the meantime, let’s prepare the lemon curd.
Place the sugar in a small bowl. Zest the lemons directly over the sugar, and mix well with a spatula. Add the lemon juice and salt. Combine all in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Once the liquid start to boil, remove from the heat. The sugar should be dissolved already.
Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl. While whisking, add 1 spoon from the hot lemon and sugar mixture. Continue adding spoon by spoon until all well incorporated. In this way, the egg yolks mixture is tempered and gets progressively to a higher temperature. Move the mixture to a saucepan and heat over very low heat, stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture to boil!
After approx 10-12 minutes, the mixture will be thicker. At this point, remove from the heat and add the butter. Mix all well together and transfer to a clean bowl. Cover the bowl and let the lemon curd to cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Can be easily stored in the fridge, in an airtight glass container up to 1 week.
Whip the cream with powder sugar until soft and stiff. Do not use the mixer, better use a balloon whisk, not to overbeat it.
Once the meringue is ready and cooled, layer the lemon curd and the whipped cream on top, decorate with berries. Serves immediately, otherwise, the meringue will absorb the liquid from the lemon curd and cream, and will become very chewy.
In case the meringue does not turn out well, do not worry, you can make an Eton Mess 🙂
Break the meringue into small pieces and put them in a glass bowl. Add in layers the lemon curd, cream, and berries. Depending on the size of your bowl, you might need to add another layer of meringue and fruits.