I'd never made a pavlova until about two years ago. I was terrified of them. My aunt always used to bring the commercial-supermarket ones to family functions.They fed about 15 people and had a horrible three centimetre layer of squidgy marshmallow in the centre.
I had this notion that they were really hard to make, which they aren't. I experimented by making a pavlova from the PWMU cookbook centenary edition 1904-2004.
It is quite small - "serves 6" - and is only about 2.5cm high and about the size of a small to medium pizza.
It is not squidgy so if you like that sort of pav, don't make this one. This is a photo of the wedding anniversary one I made last month - the one in the oven currently will look exactly the same after I fill it when it comes out.
4 egg whites
1 and 1/3 cups (335g) caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons vinegar
few drops vanilla essence
Line an oven tray with baking paper. Beat egg whites until stiff, add sugar gradually beating all the time. Fold in cornflour, vinegar and essence. Pile mixture onto tray and cook in a slow oven ( 120 - 150c) for two hours.
When cold decorate with cream and fruit.
(I set the oven at 125 or 130 and probably only cook it for 90 minutes, or whenever it looks cooked).
If anyone has an easier version of this I'd like to hear about it, but this is pretty foolproof, I think.