This cream-and-fruit-topped dessert evolved from years of recipe-swapping among the women of New Zealand.
Yield: makes 1 Cake
- 4 room-temperature egg whites
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. superfine sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- Few drops vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Pulp of 2 passion fruits
- Pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then trace a 10" circle on the paper. Put egg whites and salt in the clean bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk and beat on medium-low speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites form stiff but not dry peaks, 2-3 minutes. Gradually add sugar while whisking, then increase speed to high and beat until stiff and glossy, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla over whites, then gently fold in.
- Fill traced circle with meringue, smoothing top and sides. Put meringue in middle of oven and reduce heat to 300°. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringue inside until completely cool, about 4 hours.
- Remove paper and place meringue on a cake plate. Whip cream to soft peaks, then pile on top of meringue. Arrange cut fruit over whipped cream, then spoon on passion-fruit pulp. Slice pavlova into wedges to serve.