A homemade keto cake or dessert will always delight your family and your guests — and when they see you’ve prepared this gorgeous Keto Lemon Curd Pavlova, they will surely rave about it for years to come! Little they know that this stunning creation needs only 5 ingredients.
This keto pavlova is ridiculously low in carbs — with only 0.5 grams net carbs per serving — but it’s big in flavor. The melt-in-your-mouth, light, and crunchy meringue is fabulously accompanying the buttery, rich, and tart lemon curd. The crushed macadamias provide a delicious crunch and a wonderful, nutty flavor. Serve this stunning dessert as the highlight of your Easter celebrations, or as a special spring-time treat.
How to prepare the Keto Lemon Curd Pavlova
The initial preparations — i.e. making the sugar-free meringue crust and keto lemon curd — need some time and effort, but you can prepare them days, even one week beforehand.
But even you can make the meringue crust and lemon curd beforehand, be sure to assemble the pavlova right before serving. If it waits too long — even just an hour — it will get soggy. So, like in the case of souffle, your guests have to be waiting for pavlova, not the pavlova waiting for your guests! Assembling is the easiest part and is done in a couple of minutes.
The best is to bake the meringue crust on a round piece of parchment paper that you’ve cut out. I tried several ways to bake the meringue crust — and failed miserably (you can read more about that later on this post!). Baking the crust on a round piece parchment paper — without trying to remove the crust from the parchment paper — does the trick.
However, in case the crust gets stuck to the lowermost parchment paper while baking, then just cut the excess parchment paper around the meringue crust (check the video for that method). Don’t try to remove the crust from the parchment paper, the crust is fragile and will break immediately!
And how about if your meringue crust anyway breaks for some reason? No reason to despair! Prepare this layered dessert but replace the cranberries with lemon curd and the sugar-free syrup with crushed almonds or macadamias. Here’s another dessert idea you can adapt. The dessert is saved!
When making the lemon curd, be sure to remove the saucepan from the heat once you see the first bubbles. If you cook the lemon curd too long, it becomes lumpy. And as you want to keep it smooth, keep your eye on the mixture when you cook it. Don’t forget to whisk vigorously along the bottom of the saucepan all the time while cooking!
The crushed almonds or macadamias lend some nutty flavor, and they also give a delicious crunch. You can toast them on a dry skillet over high heat go make them even more delicious. Be sure not to burn them!
But, let’s take a look at how to prepare this gorgeous keto dessert.
So, for the whole dessert — including the meringue crust and the lemon curd filling — you need just the following 5 ingredients:
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup (60 ml + 80 ml) powdered erythritol
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 stick = 4 oz (115 g) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (toasted) crushed almonds OR macadamias
First, draw an 8-inch (20 cm) circle on a parchment paper using a plate as a guide.
Cut off the circle. Place the cut-out circle on a baking sheet, on top of another parchment paper. Set aside.
Now, separate the eggs.
Place the whites into a deep and narrow bowl…
…and the yolks into a small saucepan.
To the deep and narrow bowl with the egg whites, add 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered erythritol.
Beat with an electric mixer…
…until stiff peaks form.
Spread approximately a 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) layer of the meringue on the cut-out circle.
Fill a piping bag with a star tip with the rest of the meringue.
Pipe the meringue to the edges of the crust.
Here we go. You can make several layers to make high edges, until you have used all the meringue. Well, make at least two layers.
Bake the crust in a preheated oven at 140-160 °F (60-70 °C) for one hour. While the meringue is in the oven, prepare the lemon curd.
Take the saucepan with the 3 yolks and add 1/3 cup (80 ml) powdered erythritol…
…1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice…
…and 1 stick = 4 oz (115 g) unsalted butter.
…heat over medium heat, all the time vigorously mixing along the bottom…
…until you see the first bubbles and the mixture is thick. Don’t let boil! Set aside to cool down. Refrigerate in an airtight container after the lemon curd has cooled down to room temperature.
Back to the meringue: After one hour baking, turn off the heat from the oven. Leave the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon for overnight and let the meringue stay in the oven.
The next day, remove the meringue from the oven. Store at room temperature, in a cool and dry place until ready to assemble (i.e. your guests are waiting for the dessert!)
How to assemble the pavlova:
Place the meringue crust (with the parchment paper) on a serving plate. Handle the crust very carefully!
Spread the lemon curd evenly in the center.
Sprinkle the crushed macadamias or almonds evenly on top.
If you want, you can add some mint leaves, or pipe some whipped cream for further decorations. Also, thin slices of lemon give a fresh, gorgeous touch.
For the very final touch, you can dust the pavlova with powdered erythritol.
Voilà! Now, go and surprise your guests — and be prepared to get some serious raving about your cooking skills!
How I came up with this Keto Lemon Curd Pavlova
Keto pavlova has been long on my to-do list. I’ve always wanted to make a ketoized version of traditional pavlova. However, now when the spring and Easter are around the corner, I come up with an idea to prepare keto pavlova with lemon curd. With its fresh, tart taste, and beautiful pastel yellow color, lemon curd would be just a perfect ingredient for a spring-time dessert, I concluded.
But the challenge was: can a whole pavlova — including the meringue crust and the lemon curd filling — be made with only 5 ingredients? Well, I immediately knew it could. Actually, I already have a recipe for a super-easy keto lemon curd, and I have some meringue recipes as well.
It was about a time to update my ages-old lemon curd recipe. For the updated version, I could use egg yolks instead of whole eggs. The remaining egg whites I could use for the meringue crust. Powdered erythritol would be a perfect sweetener for both the meringue crust and the keto lemon curd. My old lemon curd recipe used erythritol crystals. They tend to form big lumps in cold desserts, so my updated version with powdered erythritol wouldn’t have that problem.
In addition to eggs and powdered erythritol, I would need lemon juice and butter to my lemon curd. That made 4 ingredients, so there was still room for one ingredient to fill the 5-ingredient quota. I thought crushed nuts would make a beautiful and delicious topping. Pistachios would give a nice contrast to the yellow lemon curd and white meringue with their green color, but as they are on the carby side, I wanted to choose nuts that are lower in carbs. I decided to use either crushed almonds or macadamias. If I toasted them, they would lend even more delicious nutty flavor — and the golden brown color of toasted nuts would look pretty on the cake, too.
After some calculations, I was ready to conduct my first experiments. I had a clear picture in my mind, where a beautiful meringue crust was filled with lemon curd and topped with toasted, crushed nuts.
First, I made the meringue mixture with 3 egg whites and 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered erythritol. I spread the mixture on a large, about 9-inch (23 cm) circle on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I used a plate to draw a circle with a pencil first to get a perfectly round shape.
The meringue circle looked too plain. I wanted to pipe beautiful stars to the edges of the crust, but there was no meringue left. So, my options were to use more egg whites – or make a smaller circle. I decided to go with a smaller circle since I was happy with my lemon curd experiment with 3 egg yolks and didn’t want to use more – or have leftover egg yolks from the meringue.
For the lemon curd, I had used 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup (80 ml) powdered erythritol, 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and 4 oz (115 g) unsalted butter. I was actually surprised how perfect lemon curd the ingredients made! I was a bit skeptical about the egg yolks, especially if 3 yolks would be enough to thicken the curd. It actually was, and the consistency of the lemon curd was just perfect: smooth and thick, and easy to spoon, too.
But my meringue crust was a disaster — not only because it looked too plain and simply pathetic, but also because it was impossible to remove from the parchment paper. It was totally stuck to the paper, and it broke completely when I tried to remove it.
Now what? I thought portion-sized mini pavlovas would look equally good, and decided to try those out, hoping they would be easier to remove from the parchment paper.
Nope, they were not. As you can see, the meringues just broke down when I tried to remove them from the parchment paper. They were really badly stuck!
Next, I came up with the idea of using a silicone baking mat. Practically nothing should stick to that, so my large meringue crust should be pretty easy to remove from it, I thought. This time, I made a smaller circle, about 6 inches (16 cm) in diameter. Now I had enough meringue to pipe decorative edges with a star tip. Actually, I had too much meringue this time — I used the rest to pipe tiny meringues to the silicone mat.
Here’s the experiment with the silicone mat:
But again, the result was a disaster. Well, the tiny meringues were easy to remove from the silicone baking mat, but the large crust was impossible to remove. The crust was as badly stuck to the silicone baking mat as it was to the parchment paper.
And now what? I really wanted to post this recipe as I thought the idea of a keto pavlova with lemon curd was so fantastic, and the dessert would make a gorgeous centerpiece to the keto Easter celebrations. But for that, the recipe had to be perfect.
I continued my ideation. Well, if the crust gets stuck to the parchment paper, why don’t I just cut a circle out of a parchment paper and spread and pipe the meringue to the cut-out circle? I could place the cut-out circle to a baking sheet lined with another, large parchment paper. After baking, I just lift the meringue crust with the parchment paper circle and place it on a serving plate? Like that, there was no need to remove the crust from the parchment paper — as it would break anyway. Now, that sounded like a marvelous idea!
I tried my idea, and indeed, this time, I could lift the meringue crust with the parchment paper and place it on a serving plate. I also had learned, that the amount of meringue would make a perfect 8-inch (20 cm) crust.
My next experiment, though, got stuck to the large piece of parchment paper — but that problem was solved by cutting the parchment paper with the meringue crust. Now I sort of had a double parchment paper circle under the crust. But it worked — and I could lift the meringue crust to a serving plate and decorate it with lemon curd and crushed, toasted macadamias.
After giving a final touch with a few lemon balm leaves and powdered erythritol dust, the dessert was ready to serve. Boy, it looked gorgeous, and it tasted good as well! The melt-in-your-mouth light meringue was beautifully accompanying the buttery, rich, and tart lemon curd. The toasted macadamias provided a delicious crunch and a pleasant, nutty flavor. When I still added a dollop of whipped cream to the side, I couldn’t think of any better dessert for Easter — or any spring-time keto celebration.
Mission accomplished. A perfect Keto Lemon Curd Pavlova with just 5 ingredients had born!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup (60 ml + 80 ml) powdered erythritol
- 1/4 cup = 60 ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 stick = 115 g unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons (toasted) crushed almonds OR crushed macadamias
- To prepare the meringue crust: First, draw an 8-inch (20 cm) circle on a parchment paper using a plate as a guide.
- Cut off the circle. Place the circle on a baking sheet, on top of another parchment paper. Set aside.
- Separate the eggs.
- Place the whites into a deep and narrow bowl and the yolks into a small saucepan.
- To the deep and narrow bowl with the egg whites, add 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered erythritol.
- Beat with an electric mixer, until stiff peaks form.
- Spread approximately a 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) layer of the meringue on the cut-out parchment paper circle.
- Place a star tip to a piping bag. Fill the piping bag with the rest of the meringue.
- Pipe the meringue to the edges of the crust. Make at least two layers to get high enough edges.
- Bake the crust in a preheated oven at 140-160 °F (60-70 °C) for one hour. While the meringue is in the oven, prepare the lemon curd.
- To make the lemon curd: Take the saucepan with the 3 yolks and add 1/3 cup (80 ml) powdered erythritol, the lemon juice, and the butter.
- Heat over medium heat, all the time vigorously mixing well along the bottom, until you see the first bubbles, and the mixture is thick. Remove the saucepan immediately from the heat. Don't let boil!
- Set aside to cool down. Refrigerate in an airtight container once the lemon curd has cooled down to room temperature. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Continue with the meringue: After one hour baking, turn off the heat from the oven. Leave the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon for overnight and let the meringue stay in the oven.
- Next day, remove the meringue from the oven. Extremely carefully, remove the meringue crust from the lowermost parchment paper. Don't try to remove it from the cut-out parchment paper circle as it is most likely stuck to it! If the meringue is also stuck to the lowermost parchment paper, simply cut off the excess parchment paper around the meringue crust. Store the meringue crust at room temperature, in a cool and dry place until ready to assemble.
- To assemble the pavlova: Place the meringue crust (with the parchment paper circle) on a serving plate. Handle the crust very carefully!
- Spread the lemon curd in the center of the meringue crust.
- Sprinkle the (toasted) crushed macadamias or almonds evenly on top.
- If you want, you can add some mint or lemon balm leaves, or pipe some whipped cream for further decorations. For the very final touch, you can dust the pavlova with powdered erythritol.
- Serve immediately -- don't wait, the meringue will get soggy if the pavlova is stored long.
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 8 servings in total|
|Protein||26.6 g||3.3 g|
|Fat||130.6 g||16.3 g|
|Net carbs||3.8 g||0.5 g|
|kcal||1292 kcal||162 kcal|
Tips for variation
Think this keto dessert is too laborious to make? Then prepare the meringues as small mounds on a parchment paper instead of piping. Or, you can just prepare the super-easy lemon curd and serve it on top of a keto cake, keto bread, or keto scones. (Which reminds me I haven’t posted a recipe for keto scones — so that’s something for the future!)
By the way, this lemon curd is pretty tart, so you might want to lighten it up, for example, with whipped cream – simply use less lemon juice for the curd, for example, 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice.
You can mix some (to taste, that is) whipped cream directly with the lemon curd and spread the mixture on the meringue crust, or then you can pipe whipped cream stars on the pavlova right before serving. Personally, I love to pipe some whipped cream next to the slice of pavlova on the plate when serving.
Looks like the whole world is preparing for a different spring and different Easter. It is indeed something unusual to have to spend the Easter isolated. Often, we have traveled to Germany to visit my in-laws for Easter, or then we have spent Easter with my parents. However, this year our Easter celebrations will be different. No traveling abroad and no visiting my elderly parents. My dad is not doing too well, and we don’t want to take any risks. By the way, he has Alzheimer’s that runs in the family. That means I’m also most likely prone to get it later in my life, even it looks that no females in the family have got Alzheimer’s, only males. Anyway, hopefully, the keto diet will keep the disease at bay — or at least postpone it remarkably.
But back to merrier matters. Spring is around the corner … or then not. No, this is not April Fool’s Day joke, we’ve got snow here in Southern Finland!
So, after a winter without snow, we’ve finally got it! Yep, the weather is nuts. But isn’t it always?
Developing this keto pavlova recipe took me a really long time this week, but I also managed to do my regular language technology stuff — this time mainly for the Ukrainian language. Within the next couple of weeks, I’m going to take the rest of the photos for my upcoming keto book and calculate the macros for the recipes. And then it’s done! Time to celebrate! The book will go to print in June, and it will be launched in August. I just received the publisher’s catalog yesterday, and there was already a picture and description of my book:
Next week, I will do lots of Easter preparations. My specialty are homemade sugar-free chocolate eggs for my son. I would love to hear about your Easter preparations and how you are going to celebrate your Easter in these exceptional times.
Thank you for reading this. Stay safe! Things will get better <3
Is it possible to use this recipe to make meringue cookies with this recipe?
Yes, it should be.
Just another idea for a low carb-high (and healthy) fat nut instead of macadamia or almonds: pine nuts! In Italy we ‘ve a cake called “frangipane”that has a meringue filling topped with icing sugar (obviously not keto, but you can ketofy it 😉 )and sliced blanched almonds and pine nuts: they match perfectly and I thought in this case the result could be pretty similar…. so I’m gonna try! Thank you for being of such a great inspiration and have a nice Easter even though with the restriction this critical emergency is imposing to us worldwide.
Thank you for your idea, Roberta! I LOVE toasted pine nuts — so I’ll might give them a try as well. Have a wonderful Easter <3
I love your posts. I’m new to Keto cooking – bought your book. It’s good.
Just a thought. I’ve made Pavlova in a clear pie pan..Looks pretty and – if I remember correctly – came out easily. Maybe you could use non stick spray, if a problem.
Keep posting and I’ll keep reading.
Thanks and Happy Easter.
Thank you, Margaret! I’m going to make another pavlova for Easter — maybe with chocolate mousse filling this time as my family loves chocolate. I will try the pie pan trick and let you know how it went. Thank you again and Happy Easter!
If the meringue remains stuck to the parchment circle, how do you serve it without making a mess?
When you cut out a slice when you serve it, it for some reason doesn’t make a mess 🙂