Y'all, I've never tried Pavlova or even heard of it until I started working for Kiwi folks (New Zealanders). It is the perfect summertime dessert! It's light, airy, and crispy all at the same time! I am officially obsessed with this dessert. The best part is the meringues last for ever! I've kept them for several weeks in a zip lock. This is what I did...
275° || 1.5 hours
6 egg whites (room temperature)
1 1/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Sweeter of your choice
*I found I liked my whip cream with no sweetener
since the pavlova and fruit were sweet enough for me
Preheat oven to 275°. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. Then to make things run a little smoother, combine sugar and cornstarch and separately lemon and vanilla. Place egg whites and a pinch of salt in a very clean bowl. Next, using an electric mixers whisk attachment (high speed) whip the egg whites and salt until foamy. Incrementally add sugar a few tablespoons at a time. Continue to whip until shiny firm peaks form. Lastly, beat in the lemon juice and vanilla until well combined.
Using your spatula, mound meringues onto parchment paper. I made mini-pavlovas so they were approximately 3-4" in diameter. You can make them small or large, it is up to you. I mounded my meringues and sort of rounded them off. The fun of pavlova is they all look a little different, check out these Google images of pavlovas. Next, bake the pavlovas for approximately 1.5 hours or until golden brown and firm. After baking is complete, open your oven door and let them stand for about 2 hours. After time has elapsed, remove from oven and carefully remove pavlova from baking sheet and place on serving platter. Don't worry if the pavlova is cracked, this is normal.
Combine heavy whipping cream and sweetener of your choice in a bowl and using your electric mixer (high speed) whip cream until soft peaks. Just before you serve the pavlova, top with whip cream and fruit of your choice. The pavlova will be slightly crispy on the outside and almost marshmallow like on the inside. It's just delightful! Have fun decorating your pavlova! -Ruth-