Lemon meringue pavlova nests, a gluten free dessert with a tangy, low-sugar lemon cream. It’s an easy recipe to make in advance. Top with your strawberries or your favourite fruits.

mini pavlova meringue nests filled with lemon cream topped with strawberries

Who loves lemon meringue pie? We certainly do and our favourite recipe is this Lemon and Passionfruit Meringue Tart in my second book, Teatime in Paris.

shiny lemon tart with meringue piped around the border

However, this is a gluten free lemon version without the pastry part. It’s a simple dessert that’s easy to prepare in advance. Just top with the fruits of your choice just before serving.

Lemon Meringue Pavlova Nests

mini pavlova meringue nests filled with lemon cream topped with strawberries

Lemon Meringue Pavlova Nests

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : French, British
Keyword : filling ideas for meringue nests, lemon curd filling, lemon cream for meringues
Servings : 4 people


Lemon meringue pavlova nests, a gluten free dessert with a tangy, low-sugar lemon cream. Top with your strawberries or your favourite fruits.


Meringue Nests

  • 2 egg whites organic
  • 225 g (8oz) sugar
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

Lemon Curd (crème au citron)

  • 3 egg yolks organic
  • 85 g (3oz) sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 3 lemons unwaxed
  • 100 ml (3.5fl oz) water
  • knob butter unsalted


Meringue Nests

  • Preheat the oven to 130°C/110°C fan/250°F/Gas 1/2
  • Whisk the egg whites at high speed using a hand or stand mixer. Gradually rain in the sugar while continuing to whisk, adding the vanilla extract last, until the mixture is firm and glossy. It should form a peak (or bird's beak, bec de l'oiseau) on the whisk.
  • Spoon out 4 large heaps of the meringue on to a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Press them down and scoop out a cavity that you can fill later.
  • Bake for an hour in a cool oven.

Lemon Curd (crème au citron)

  • Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a saucepan. Add the cornflour, zest and lemon juice then the water. Mix together well.
  • Over a medium heat, whisk until the cream thickens then take off the heat and mix in the butter. Set aside to cool.
  • When the meringues are ready, leave to cool then spoon in the lemon cream into each meringue nest and chill in the fridge for an hour.


Top with strawberries, blueberries or more of your favourite fruits.


From the market

From the kitchen

25 responses to “Lemon Meringue Pavlova Nests”

  1. Just tried these for guests last night, who didn’t leave a crumb! 🙂
    Thanks Jill for yet another beautiful recipe!

    The only thing I didn’t manage to get is the spiky basket shapes (mine were more like cloudy not very deep nests), I wonder if I beat my egg whites/sugar for too long….?
    Will just need to try these again! 🙂

    • Pleased as punch to hear you tried them, Jérôme. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘cloudy’ so unsure what to advise. Please do try them again. They should be beaten enough still to form le bec de l’oiseau but glossy. Perhaps I should have said to move quickly on forming them. The more meringue waits on the counter before being baked, they become grainy and not as pretty. Using a spoon, the meringue should be firm enough to be able to form the spiky shapes. It’s done quickly and haphazardly, not ages to produce an art form. Hope this helps!

      Thanks for popping by to give me your feedback. Love it when I hear when you’ve made the recipes.

      • Thanks for the tips Jill, will definitely try again and move quickly next time as I really like that spiky look (mine looked like a white Barbapapa actually, all soft and comfy looking! Haha…)! 🙂

  2. Those pavlovas look absolutely delightful Jill and I bet that hubby person was very pleased to see you home. Glad you had a good time back in Scotland.

    We are more than a week behind here, but flowers have also got a little muddled – we seem to have the March, April and May flowers all out at the same time which makes our hedgerows look a little odd, but still very beautiful.

    • Choclette, it sounds like it’s the same chez vous. It’s so green here at this time of year and with all this rainfall, at least our grass is extremely green for once! Yep, hubby person was glad to have fresh food again, le pauvre 😉

  3. Lily of the Valley doesn’t grow in our garden – probably it’s far too cold here. M & S now sell a new perfume called Muguet.

    • I think we had it just as cold here too. I didn’t think they’d grow here, either, but I planted the bulbs in a sheltered area at the back of my herb garden, if that helps…

    • Ooh, Ann, even reading the words cheese scones is putting on the weight again! I love them…

  4. I adore pavlovas!! Haven’t made them in quite some time though, and I think I feel somewhat inspired. The lemon creme is simply a bonus.
    Beautiful Lily of the Valley!! I grew them years and years ago, but they don’t seem to do so well in my current location. Beautiful shot you have there.
    Happy Mother’s Day Jill!! Hope you are having a lovely spring day filled with tasty treasures!

    • Thrilled to inspire, Kim, thanks. Happy Mother’s Day to YOU in the USA. I woke up grumpy thinking that my kids had forgotten but in France it’s next week, I think, for Fête des meres.

  5. I don’t know how anyone cooks without scales. My cooking improved when I stopped cupping and went to weighing.

    Your lemon pavlovas sound wonderful and I love making something from otherwise soon to be tossed ingredients.

  6. This is my kind of dessert. Meringue + lemon + fruity bits = Heaven!
    I love your free-form meringue tarte thing
    Crunch crunch miam

    • Thanks, Carol. One of these rare occasions I used a spoon rather than a piping bag!

  7. Jill, I happened to come across your blog via Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen. I’m particularly interested in French food and also ‘les macarons.’ I just took a master class in macarons here in Adelaide – I admit that it takes some practice mastering the pastry bag in squeezing out the mac’s- but I think I’ve almost got it! I’m looking forward to following your blog (BTW, I studied cuisine at the Le Cordon bleu in Paris).

    • Lovely to meet you and thanks for popping by. Stopped for a taste of your strawberry meringue dessert and realised it’s Mother’s Day? I have some serious coaching and hint-dropping to do now until tomorrow! Merci xo

  8. We love pavlova in the Berg household…and I need to whip one up as soon as the spring berries are ripe. Love the idea of adding lemon cream, too…delish! Glad you had a fun Scottish holiday 🙂 xo

    • Thanks, Liz. Sounds like your corner of the woods is late in springing, too! Wishing you beautiful ripe berries SOON!

  9. Well done on surviving the dungeons, Jill. I am glad you survived to magic the contents of your neglected fridge into these gorgous meringues.

    Love the Lily of the Valley too. I’ve never been able to grow it (I’m sure there is a garden legend that deals with this eventuality) but I have coincided with the distribution of muguet. Don’t you just love that scent!

    • I am totally addicted to that scent, Hester. I wish we could bottle its magical feel-good factor.

  10. I sent my mom a digital bouquet of lily-of-the-valley via the blog on (or about…it was in The Sip) May 1st too. It made me smile to see you do it as well.

    I’m loving these lemony delicious nests! With head hung, I’ll admit that I’m not a huge macaron fan, but I do love all things citrus, especially if they retain the tang. You’ve presented me with an upside-down lemon meringue pie. I love it!

    • I hear you! Wish we could make these digital muguets a scratch-and-sniff! Not a huge macaron fan? Och well, loving this will do. I suppose. Thanks for popping in!

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