In the late '90's my husband's parents were running a guest home in South Africa under SIM (Sudan Interior Mission) They invited us as a family to come and stay with them for 3 weeks over the Christmas holidays. It was there that I first tasted this billowy cloud of delicate crusted marshmallowy goodness. There is really no other way to describe it. It was a recipe mom had gotten from her friend in South Africa.
- 5 egg whites, at room temperature (6 if small eggs)
- 1 scant cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp corn starch (or cornflour)
- Beat egg whites until very dry and stiff.
- Gradually beat in sugar. Beat well so that crystals dissolve.
- Beat in remaining 3 ingredients.
- Place a sheet of tin foil onto a baking sheet, shiny side up.
- Very lightly spray tin foil with non stick spray.
- Scoop thick egg white batter onto the centre of the foil. Gently spread it out into a circle anywhere from 10-12". I like to use the back of a spoon to create a 'bumpy edge' rather than smoothing it all out. I like the look of it once it's baked that way.
- THESE BAKING INSTRUCTIONS ARE VERY IMPORTANT...AND NOT WRONG INSTRUCTIONS. Pre heat oven to 450º. Once oven is hot, place pavlova in oven and count to 20 SECONDS. After 20 seconds turn your oven off. DO NOT open the oven door for at least 4 hours. It has to be completely cool. You will be able to smell the pavlova baking during those first 20 seconds, but don't worry...it's not going to burn and it will be perfectly baked when you take it out.
- Once it is done the pavlova will be very delicate to handle. Carefully slide it off the foil onto the plate you will be serving it on. If you are going to be serving it later in the day, cover completely in an airtight container or with plastic wrap.
- When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and some pudding if you like that addition. Then add lots of fresh fruit.
|Another suggestion is to break up the meringue shell and make individual pavlova trifles.|