Serves 10-12 Medium Meringues
4 large egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream and fruit filling
- 2 cups cream
- 1 tbsp castor sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- Fresh fruit of your choice
- Preheat oven to 200F/90C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and prepare a pastry bag fitted with a round or star tip (mine had a 1cm opening). Set aside.
- Then, while the mixer is running, add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and increase mixing speed to medium-high. Go slowly. Adding the sugar and continuing to beat may take 5-10 minutes. The meringue is ready once stiff peaks form, it’s glossy and completely smooth but not dry, and the sugar is fully dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure that no sugar is sticking. Beat in vanilla extract.
- Transfer the meringue to the piping bag. To prevent the parchment paper from sliding, pipe a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the paper and ‘stick’ it to the pan. Pipe a 5 cm (or any other size you want, depending on how big or small you want them) round spiral base on the prepared baking sheet, and without lifting the tip, pipe 2-3 circles on top of the outer edge to create a nest.
- If you want to make pavlovas without using a piping bag, drop small mounds of meringue onto the baking sheet and, using a spoon, create a border so that the edges are slightly higher than the centre.
- Place in the lower part of the oven and bake for 2-3 hours, or until the meringues are dry, their centres aren’t sticky, and they are easily lifted from the parchment paper with their bases intact. Turn off the oven and, without removing, let meringues cool completely for at least one hour, or overnight.
- Meringues will keep for several days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Whip together the cream and castor sugar till stiff peak forms. Switch the mixer to a low speed and add the vanilla essence. Beat till well combined. Remove from the mixer into a piping bag. Pipe cream into each meringue and add the fruits of your choice on top.
Note: You can make any cream flavour filling you choose. I made a Crème Chantilly. Any fruit is also welcome to be used for your meringues.