Fresh Fruit Pavlova
3 large egg whites
170 g (6oz) caster sugar
1 level teasp. Cornflour
1 teasp. White vinegar
½ teasp. Vanilla essence
280ml whipped cream or yoghurt
340g assorted fresh fruits, sliced
Line a baking sheet with lightly greased greaseproof paper.
Into a large, clean, dry bowl add the separated egg whites ensuring there is no trace of egg yolk.
Beat the whites using a hand whisk until the mixture is stiff and forms peaks.
Next add the sugar, folding gently, approximately 30g at a time.
A long, slow and very gentle addition of the sugar is very important, folding well between each addition. Finally, fold in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence.
Pipe or pile the meringue onto a drawn circle on the baking sheet approximately 20cm.
Ensure the oven is preheated at 140 degrees C and 5 minutes after you put the pavlova mixture in the oven, turn the temperature down to 130C.
Bake for 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours. Cook until pale brown and dry, although a little soft in the centre.
If possible turn off the oven when cooked and allow the pavlova to remain in the oven overnight to avoid sinking in the middle.
When cooled, peel off paper, place in a serving dish. At this stage the meringue will probably crack and sink a little.
Decorate with cream, yoghurt or fromage frais and assorted seasonal fruits.