I made this for dessert on Father's Day. This is one of my favorite recipes for a Pav...just the right amount of " marshmallowy squidgyness" on the inside and crisp on the outside. I used some freshly picked local Jersey strawberries and decided to add some blueberries and a few raspberries I had on hand... Needless to say this was inhaled here...everyone just loves it! Strawberry Pavlova Nigella Lawson
Time: 2 hours, plus up to 2 hours' macerating
For the meringue: 4 egg whites Pinch of salt 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar A few drops vanilla extract
For the topping: 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered 1/2 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon high-quality balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon superfine sugar 2 cups heavy cream.
1. To prepare meringue: heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draw a circle on the paper using an 8- or 9- inch cake pan as a guide. In bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites and salt. Begin beating at low speed, slowly increasing to high. Continue until satiny peaks begin to form; gradually beat in sugar a tablespoon at a time until meringue is stiff and shiny.
2. Sprinkle in cornstarch, white-wine vinegar and vanilla, and fold in gently. Mound onto parchment within circle, and shape into a disk, flattening top and smoothing sides. Place in oven, and immediately reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off heat, and allow meringue to cool completely in oven.
3. To prepare topping: in a mixing bowl, combine strawberries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
4. To serve, invert meringue onto a plate, and carefully peel off parchment. (Crisp top of meringue will now be against plate with tender underside facing up.) Whip cream until it is thick enough to hold peaks, and spread it evenly over meringue. Cover cream with strawberries, allowing a small amount of their liquid to dribble onto cream. Serve immediately.
my notes: I do not bother with the inverting step...IMHO you are asking for trouble if you do that so I just move the meringue to a plate and the top is the top...