Salted Macadamia Nut Pavlova with Tropical Fruit
When you indulge in Mahina’s Family Feast at Mahina & Sun’s in Waikiki, chances are you’ll end your meal with this amazing salted macadamia nut pavlova. Chef Ed Kenney serves it with tropical fruits that are grown in Hawaii, including lilikoi (yellow passionfruit), starfruit and rambutan, but the dessert is equally delicious with easier-to-find bananas, strawberries and pineapple. The fresh turmeric gives the lemon curd a particularly vibrant color and a very subtle savory flavor that plays against the sweet and tart flavors of the curd.
For the macadamia nut pavlova:
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz./370 g) sugar
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) salted macadamia nuts, finely chopped
For the lemon curd:
- 1/4 cup peeled and coarsely chopped fresh turmeric root
- 18 Tbs. (9 oz./280 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) sugar
- 6 whole eggs plus 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) fresh lemon juice
Sliced tropical fruits for serving, such as bananas, strawberries, papaya, pineapple, lilikoi, guava, starfruit, lychee and/or rambutan
To make the pavlova, preheat an oven to 250°F (120°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs whites on medium until bubbles start to form, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) of the sugar, the vinegar and vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the macadamia nuts.
Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch (12-mm) plain tip. Working outward in a spiral, pipe circles of meringue on the prepared baking sheet, each 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and spaced 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake until the meringue is dry to the touch, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the oven at least a few hours or preferably overnight, until completely dry.
To make the lemon curd, in a high-speed blender, combine the turmeric and 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) water and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and discard the solids. Set the liquid aside.
In the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined but not fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the whole eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and turmeric liquid and beat until combined, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the butter mixture to a large saucepan, place over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until the mixture thickens and almost comes to a boil, about 8 minutes. Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the curd so a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. The curd can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
To assemble the dish, stack the meringues on a platter in a pyramid shape, spooning some of the lemon curd between the layers. Drizzle the remaining lemon curd over the meringues, then arrange the fruit slices on top of and around the meringues. Serve immediately. Serves 12.
Adapted from a recipe by Ed Kenney of Mahina & Sun’s, Waikiki, Hawaii