Personally I am not a great fan of pavlovas, but they are so easy to make and a good way to use egg whites, so once or twice a year a make one. This is my easiest recipe so far.
3 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
200g white sugar
Start the evening before.
The most important ingredient is egg whites, use free range and possibly organic eggs for egg whites that have lots of proteins and beat into perfect standing peaks! Start beating the egg whites at high speed with a pinch of salt. Add the vinegar, then the cream of tartar, then the sugar (I add this in three-four goes, but quickly). Don't need to use caster sugar if you are beating at high speed and if the egg whites are really stiff. Sometimes I forget the cream of tartar so I add it after the sugar, nothing has ever happened. Some people add vanilla, but I like pavlova to smell and taste of meringue, not of vanilla! The vinegar takes away that eggy edge, in case you are worried.
Heat the oven at 200°C or more. It has to be really hot!
Scoop the meringue onto a oven tray lined with baking paper, making a circle. I don't like to pipe the meringue, I prefer the 'spatula' look on a pavlova. Place at the centre of the oven then turn the oven off immediately. Leave overnight and don't open the door (oven door, I mean, you can open the other doors in the house!).
The day after take your pavlova out and decorate with cream before serving, and with the fruit you like best. I even used my homemade cherries in cognac, they work very well as they are not sweet and very alcoholic and go well with the very sweet taste of the meringue.
And if you are into flowers, well, pansies and violets are edible too, and ever so pretty! These are from my garden, they make every dessert, even the simplest, look beautiful!
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©