4 egg whites (1/2 cup) at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons white vinegar or 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
Fresh berries or fruit
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Draw an oval on the paper to resemble a large egg. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at high speed. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Add the sugar mixture a heaping tablespoon at a time to the egg whites along with the vinegar or cream of tartar, and beat for about 8 minutes until the whites are very stiff and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.
Turn the meringue onto the paper lined cookie sheet and shape into a rounded egg shape, smoothing the mound to resemble a large Easter egg.
Bake for 5 hours without opening the oven. As an alternative, bake 2 hours, then turn the oven off and without opening the oven leave the pavlova in the oven with the door closed until cold, or overnight.
Before serving, transfer the pavlova onto a serving plate. Smash the center of the “egg” and fill with berries or fresh fruit; top with whipped cream and smooth it down so it again looks like a big white egg.
Serve within 2 hours.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.