Pavlova consists of a meringue shell, crunchy on the outside, soft and marshmallow-like on the inside, and filled with softly whipped cream and plenty of fresh fruit. Pavlova is a fantastic dessert that originated either in New Zealand or Australia in the 1920s. Current evidence leans toward New Zealand, but this is an issue that may never be resolved.What we can agree on is that this delicious concoction, named for the ballerina, Anna Pavlova, is one of the most beautiful and delicious confections anywhere. Dessert doesn’t get much better.
Things You'll Need
How to Make a Pavlova
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw an eight inch circle on the paper. Turn the paper over so that the pencil mark doesn’t touch the ingredients
Beat the egg whites on medium-high to soft peaks. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Rub a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved. Keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, fold in carefully.
Gently spread the meringue all over the circle on the parchment paper. Smooth the meringue, making sure the edges are slightly higher than the center. This will form a depression in the center of the meringue where you will place the whipped cream and fruit.
Bake for 75 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.
Before serving, gently place the meringue onto a serving plate. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and then mound the cream in the center of the meringue. Arrange the fruit on top of the cream.
The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy. You can wrap the meringue and store it in an airtight container for up to three days.
Serves 6 to 8.