Megan Crowhurst (Univ. of Texas at Austin)
Family lore says that the Pavlova was introduced in Australia in honour of a visit by (and named for) the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. This version of a meringue is a killer dessert that takes almost no time to prepare, and uses common ingredients that are usually present in any kitchen.
1 cup berry sugar (or extra finely granulated white sugar)
2-4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp boiling water
1/2 tsp baking powder
Seasonal fruit (suggested: kiwi, passion fruit)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Beat sugar, egg whites, vanilla and vinegar together until creamy (about 2 minutes).
Add boiling water, and beat until stiff (peaks will appear in the mixture).
Fold in baking powder.
Transfer mixture to an oven-safe plate covered in aluminum foil. (Mixture should be arranged in a pile of as small a diameter as possible, not distributed to cover the plate.)
Remove from oven when done (the baked meringue should still be fairly white), allow to cool.
Serve topped with whipped cream and seasonal fruit. As the meringue is almost purely sugar, sugarless whipped cream and acidic fruits, like passion fruit or kiwi fruit, work best to cut the sweetness of the dessert.
Reduce heat to 250°F, bake for 90 minutes (don't open the oven).
Note: The more egg whites, the softer the end result. Two egg whites produces a Pavlova that's chewy on the inside. Four produces a very soft, creamy result. Three egg whites is nice, because it produces a meringue that's crunchy on the outside and fairly soft on the inside.