This dessert is relatively easy to make but does take some time to cook. You will need the oven very low, I did some cake baking and then put the oven down to 100 degrees C. The Pavlova was first made in New Zealand for the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova who, I am told, loved it. You will need:
- 2 or 3 egg whites
- 4 to 5 oz caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 oz cornstarch
This is basically a meringue so a great deal of mixing is required on the egg whites and it is always better to use an electric mixer or food processor. Also make sure the basin is clean and dry before you start, a wet bowl means the eggs will not stiffen. Beat the egg whites until stiff and you can turn the bowl upside down, then add the sugar bit by bit and continue to beat, fold in the white wine vinegar and cornstarch. The mixture is quite stiff and dry looking.
On a lined baking sheet mark a circle with a pencil round a dinner plate and either pipe your meringue round the circle to the middle and up the sides slightly or us two metal spoons to make a shallow dish like shape.
Bake in the oven set at 100 degrees C for one hour then turn off the oven and leave the case in overnight if possible.
You can keep this in an airtight tin until you need it. Just before serving line the base with whipped double cream and pile in your fruit, if using freshly washed soft Summer fruits dry them as much as you can otherwise the water dissolves the base of the meringue. At this point you can pour more cream on top or drizzle some melted chocolate on. I served mine with a pouring cream on the side. I hope you enjoy this but, be careful, it is very sweet and would be best with a strong dark tea.