Classic Pavlova

full_size_pavlova

Serves 8 | Start to finish: 20 minutes, plus overnight cooling time
from Edible Seattle November/December 2009

You can add other fruit to your liking, generally tart flavors best balance the sweetness of the meringue. Typically in Australia it would be fruit that is readily available, such as kiwi, mango, banana and strawberry as well as fresh passionfruit.
4 egg whites, room temperatureM
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus two tablespoons superfine sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 four-inch vanilla bean
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1 can of passionfruit pulp

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly grease the parchment.

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until satiny peaks form. Beat in a third of the sugar at a time, until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. Sprinkle the mixture with cornstarch and vinegar and carefully fold together with a wide silicone spatula.

Mound the meringue onto the parchment-lined sheet, creating a circle about 9 inches in diameter. Flatten the top slightly and smooth the sides.

Place the meringue in the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Leave the pavlova in the oven to cool completely, preferably overnight. Once the meringue is cool, it may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

When you’re ready to serve the pavlova, slice open the vanilla bean and scrape the contents of the pod into a bowl with the cream and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Gently place the pavlova upside down on a serving plate, and cover with the whipped cream and fruit pulp. This is best served within an hour of decorating.

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