Pavlova is a traditional dessert in New Zealand, and Australia claims it as well. It is a meringue base that is filled with whipped cream and usually kiwifruit. Children's birthday cakes are often pavlovas in New Zealand and may be decorated with candy. As with all meringues, this is best made on a dry day as high humidity can affect the end result.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup superfine sugar (see note)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sliced fruit (kiwifruit, berries, peaches, etc.)
- 1-1/2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream
- 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips, crushed or small candies, or additional fruit slices optional
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a shallow jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Sprinkle cream of tartar over egg whites and beat until stiff. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the egg whites a tablespoon at a time while beating on medium speed until all is combined. The meringue should be shiny, white, and stiff. Fold in vanilla extract.
Reduce oven heat to 200 F. Mound the meringue on the pan in a round shape about 6 inches in diameter.
Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven, leaving meringue in oven until it is cold, or overnight.
Arrange fruit over the base of the pavlova meringue, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with chips, crushed or small candies and/or additional fruit.
Use a serrated knife to gently saw slices. Store leftovers in a covered container.
Note: If you cannot find superfine sugar, place granulated sugar in a food processor and process until the sugar crystals are down to half the original size. Then measure and proceed with the pavlova.