If you haven't heard of this dish before, you are missing out. This Aussie native dessert was first introduced to me by my lovely British neighbor and friend, Sarah, and it has been a hit every time I make it. I mean who doesn't love meringue covered with whipped cream and fruit?!! The crazy thing is that it is so super easy to make and has the most simple list of ingredients. One heed of warning...pavlovas are super sensitive to high heats and humidity so if things don't work out so well in the heat of the summer, that could be a reason why (my friend in Singapore can attest to this problem on a daily basis). But if it doesn't work out, no worries mate, you can crush the whole thing up and make Etton Mess out of it (see below)!
4 egg whites
1 cup of castor sugar (8 oz/250 g)
2 cups whipped cream or Cool Whip
fresh fruit of your choice
Preheat oven to 250 F/120 C.
place egg whites in small bowl
Beat with electric mixer on high speed for about 1 minute or until soft peaks form.
Gradually add sugar a tablespoon at a time beating the mixture each time to ensure sugar is completely dissolved before adding the next spoonful. (If you are in a little bit of a hurry you can dump it in a little quicker). Mixture should be thick and glossy when you are done adding the sugar.
Lightly grease an oven tray. (You can use baking parchment paper on top of your tray as well). Sprinkle the tray with a little flour and shake away the excess flour. Scrap the meringue onto the tray.
Spread it out into a thick circle on the tray/parchment using a spatula and level the top. I leave it about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Bake in the oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until it feels crisp and dry. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar to cool the pavlova for about an hour. (Even if it cracks - don't worry!!!)
Cover it with the whipped cream/Cool Whip.
Then top it with fruit. (No one sees the cracks and if it does crack it looks cool)
Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
If you pavlova really is a mess and completely breaks up, just make Etton Mess. Add about 2 cups of the fruit to about 4 cups of whipped cream/Cool Whip and fold in well. Just before serving, crush up the meringue and dump into the fruit/cream mixture. Fold in and serve.