Desserts are the most important feature of Australian cuisine. There are a wide number of lip-smacking desserts popular in Australia. An Australian dessert favorite, pavlova is named after the famous ballet diva Anna Pavlova. This simple sweet dish is a layered mix of fruit, whipped cream and meringue, and a summertime mainstay. Created in the early 20th century, both Australia and New Zealand contend for the title of birthplace. “While it has been suggested this dessert was created in New Zealand, it has also become recognized as a popular Australian dish. Both countries claim to have invented this dessert and claim it as their national dish,” Stradley writes.
- 4 large egg whites( at room temperature)
- 225 gm Castor sugar, also known as “Berry sugar”
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 110 gm whipping cream
- Fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, bananas, blueberries
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 275F (140C) and place the rack in middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with foil and draw a 7 inch circle on the foil with the blunt edge of a knife (don’t tear the foil). Set aside.
- In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with a clean electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form soft peaks.
- Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, one teaspoon at a time. Don’t just lump the sugar in the bowl and never stop beating the eggs until you finish the sugar. Your egg whites should now be glossy stiff peaks.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla and gently fold the mixture again.
- Now gently spread the meringue in the circle on the foil to make a circular base. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center so you have a very slight well in the middle.
Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it goes a very pale, pinkish egg shell color.