I made Lemon Curd a few months back and been wanting to try it using Kalamansi. When my Mom gave me some, I finally got the chance! Last time, I mentioned I got about 25 Kalamansi and these yielded me a little more than half a cup of juice and about four tablespoons of zest. I already used most of the zest to make my Kalamansi Meltaway Cookies so I only have enough zest left over to make about a cup of curd (half the recipe).
Even though I am not lucky enough to have a Kalamansi tree, I am fortunate enough to have a Meyer Lemon tree thriving in my backyard. (But I'll trade it for a Kalamansi tree anytime!) Meyer lemons have been getting all the raves in the foodie world for years. According to MarketManila, Maeyer lemons originated from China. It is a cross between a true lemon and a Mandarin orange. So they tend to be sweeter and less tart and have thinner rinds compared to a regular lemon. I used Meyer lemons on the curd to balance out the sourness of Kalamansi.
Pavlova originated from Australia, where a chef created it in honor of a famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, when she toured the country. It is a dessert composed of a meringue base (which looks like a ballerina's tutu) topped with creamy pudding or mousse. I made the meringue with coconut to give it a tropical flair -- takes me to someplace warm since it's been really cold here lately.
Mini Pavlova Kalamansi Curd on Coconut Meringues
For the curd:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBSP grated Kalamansi zest
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/8 cup fresh Kalamansi juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Prepare an ice-bath. Bring water to simmer for a double boiler.
Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and process for a minute to release the Kalamansi's essential oils into the sugar. (Or can use a mortar and pestle.)
Place the Kalamansi sugar in a heat-proof bowl along with egg and egg yolks and whisk. Place bowl in double boiler and keep whisking until all the sugar is dissolved.
Add the Meyer lemon and Kalamansi juice and keep whisking for about 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl once in a while. Curd is done when temperature reaches 160F and has the consistency of sour cream.
Take bowl out of heat and continue to whisk while putting the butter, one cube at a time.
Strain through a strainer and place bowl in ice-bath to cool. Place plastic wrap directly on top of curd so it wouldn't create a hard film. Once cool, place in the fridge.
For the Coconut Meringues:
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace 3-inch circles on it one inch apart. Turn paper over.
Place coconut in food processor and pulse into small pieces. Set aside.
Place egg whites, cream of tartar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat until stiff and glossy. Fold in coconut.
Spoon the meringue into the cookie sheet. Make a little well with the meringue using the back of a spoon. Bake in oven for about an hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven for a few hours, preferably overnight.
I topped them with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut. These were really good, I even surprise myself. Ha! :) The sour-tart curd balanced out the sweetness of the meringues. The meringues were crisp on the outside and the center a little gooey from the curd. Different flavors and textures all at the same time! Next time, I will serve them with chopped mangoes or kiwi.
One last thing: this can be made several days in advance of serving. The curd will last for a week in the fridge. The meringues will stay fresh for few days, stored in an airtight container. Assemble it just before serving which is super easy since all the components are prepared in advance. Perfect for the holiday rush.