4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup white sugar blended in a food processor or blender. I used my vitamix. Should have similar consistency as powdered sugar.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream. I also added 1/2 C of Marscarpone cheese and folded it into the heavy cream. Choice of fruit: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries.
Pavlova: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 or 8 inch circle on the paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low speed until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers). Beat in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold in. Spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges.
Bake for about 60 minutes or until the outside is dry and is a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the oven door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft like marshmallow.)
The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days.
Just before serving gently place the meringue onto a serving plate.
Topping: Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer or wire whisk), until still peaks form. Mound the whipped cream into the center of the meringue along with fruit. Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.