Limoncello pavlova roulade

Who’s got their Christmas menu sorted? I think we’ve finally confirmed ours. This year we’ll be having a late Christmas lunch at our house,  Mike will be doing his famous smoked salmon, I’ll glaze a ham and we’re also going to try a turducken for the first time. Dessert? Mum usually makes her eclairs and there’s always a pavlova and lots of fresh summer berries.

This year I’m going to try something a little different with the pav. Instead of a traditional giant meringue, I’m going to make it into a roulade, which is a just a fancy way of saying rolled up. The pavlova is cooked in a shallow baking tin, and once cooled it’s topped off with freshly whipped cream and a divine limoncello curd, and then rolled up into a handy little log.

If you’re not familiar with limoncello (my parents are very familiar with it lol), it is an Italian lemon liqueur made from steeping lemon peel (without the pith) in alcohol, usually grappa, until the lemon oil is released. A simple syrup (sugar and water) is then added and voila, limoncello. Here in NZ, Sovrano make an amazing award winning limoncello, which is what I’ve added to a basic lemon curd. You still get all of the lemony goodness with that distinct limoncello flavour.

Merry Christmas everyone!

For the pavlova


6 egg whites (I used size 7)
400g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (white vinegar is also fine)
icing sugar, for dusting

to assemble the pavlova, you’ll also need ¾c cream, whipped to soft peaks.


Preheat your oven to 150°. Grease and line a 35x25cm slice tin and set aside (see notes.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. This will take several minutes.
When all of the sugar has been incorporated, the meringue should be thick and glossy.
Add the cornflour, vanilla and vinegar and whisk for another minute.
Gently plop the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 25 minutes (it will look pale beige and crusty) then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. The pavlova will deflate – that’s ok. You can see the 3 stages in the photos below.

Lay a piece of baking paper on a flat surface and sprinkle it with icing sugar.  Carefully turn the pavlova out onto it. If you are not using it straight away, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave it at room temperature.

For the curd


4 lemons
125g butter, cut into cubes
2c sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1/3c limoncello


Zest the lemons and set the zest aside. Squeeze the lemons and strain the juice.
In a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved then add the eggs, lemon rind and limoncello.
Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring continuously until the curd thickens.
Pour into sterilised jars and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

To assemble

Make sure you’ve got everything prepared and ready to use: a serving platter, the pavlova, whipped cream, and the curd. You’ll also need a spatula and offset palette knife (for easier spreading.)

First up, gently lift the baking paper and pavlova onto the serving platter.

Next up is the cream – gently spread about ½c of whipped cream over the pavlova, leaving a border of about 2cm all around the edges.

Now top that with about ½c of the curd and spread that out like the cream.


Now, the tricky part. We need to roll this masterpiece. Lift up the long edge of the baking paper and roll the pavlova up and over, into a log, removing the baking paper as you go.

The pavlova should now be seam side down on the serving platter. It will be cracked and that’s OK – it’s going to crack no matter what.

Refrigerate immediately for 30 minutes to set the cream and curd.

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  • You can make the pavlova the day before but I would recommend assembling it on the day you plan to eat it.
  • Take your time to carefully line the tin for the pavlova. The batter is not heavy enough to push the baking paper back out to the corners so your pavlova will form around where the paper creases. I cut strips of paper for the sides, instead of just using a whole sheet.
  • The curd recipe makes a lot of curd, you can halve it although it’s so delicious I’m sure you’ll find other uses for it!
  • Curd recipe adapted from the Edmonds Cookery Book.

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