Pavlova with Summer Berries
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 Duck eggs, whites separated, room temperature
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups mixed berries or and/or cut-up fruit
Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle. Trace an 8-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper and place on a baking sheet.
Whisk the superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites and salt until they hold soft peaks. Add the water to “loosen” the whites, then resume beating until whites again hold soft peaks.
Increase speed to medium-high and gradually beat in the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the lemon juice or vinegar and continue beating at high speed until the meringue holds glossy, stiff peaks, 5-10 minutes.
Pile the meringue onto the parchment and use a spoon to gently spread it into the circle you’ve marked, with swirled sides and a slightly concave center (you’ll fill that with whipped cream and fruit). Bake until the meringue is pale golden with a crisp crust and marshmallowy center, about 45 minutes. Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let cool in oven 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Whip cream with the sugar and vanilla until it just holds stiff peaks. Chill until ready to use.
When meringue is completely cool, carefully peel off the parchment and place onto a serving plate. Just before serving, fill the center with the cream and top with the berries and fruit. To serve, slice with a serrated knife into wedges.