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Pavlova

This is one of the easiest and most impressive desserts you can make. Pavlova is basically a huge meringue piled high with cream and fruit. In the winter, I replace fruit with curls of chocolate and slivered almonds but for 4th of July it just begs for blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. I made individual ones here but you can just as easily make one large cake—it's up to you!

You can make this recipe ahead of time and store the meringue in an airtight container for a few days.

Ingredients

4 large egg whites

I cup of superfine sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

Topping

1 cup cream for whipping

Fruit, nuts and/or chocolate

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside

3. Use the whisk attachment in your electric mixer and beat the egg whites until they are fluffy. Add the sugar and then beat on high speed until the sugar is dissolved and the whites have turned into dense, white, shiny stiff peaks. This may take a little while. You can check to see if the batter is ready by pinching a little between your fingers. If it's grainy, it's not ready. You need all the sugar to be dissolved.

4. Beat in the vanilla extract and then sprinkle the vinegar and corn starch over the top of the mixture. Fold in with a rubber spatula—gently! You don't want to overmix.

5. Spread the mix on the parchment either in dollops (I used 1/4 cup scoop for the individual ones I made here) and one big dollop for a larger cake. Smooth out using a butter knife to give yourself a flat top that will hold the fruit and cream.

6. Bake for 60 minutes or until the outside is dry and pale cream in color. Turn off the oven and leave the door open so the meringue can cool completely.

7. Top with whipped cream and whatever other toppings you'd like.

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