Our ultimate pav has a crisp/chewy outer, with a soft marshmallow centre. It loves to be dressed up with cream and assorted toppings and just screams Christmas and summer entertaining.
6 large egg whites, size 7
1½ cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons seedless dark berry jam
1 punnet blueberries (I used Driscolls)
1 cup blackberries, thawed if frozen
300ml cream, softly whipped
Roasted Strawberries (see recipe)
⅓ cup pomegranate arils
¼ cup chopped pistachios
Trace a 20cm-diameter circle on a sheet of baking paper. Turn the paper over and place on a greased flat baking tray.
Preheat the oven to 120°C.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk until thick and glossy and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be smooth when rubbed between your fingertips. Undissolved sugar will cause the meringue to weep.
Sift over the cornflour and add the lemon juice and vanilla. Using a large metal spoon, fold into the meringue. Spoon the meringue into the centre of the circle. Using the back of a large spoon, carefully spread it to the edge of the circle, building up the sides and swirling the top, keeping the meringue as high as possible.
Bake for 1½ hours. The pavlova will expand quite a lot, colour slightly and may have a few little cracks. Turn off the heat and leave the pavlova in the oven, with the door closed, to cool for a few hours or overnight.
To assemble: Put the jam and 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl and microwave until bubbling. Add the blueberries and blackberries and stir to coat well so they are glossy. Cool. Gently dollop the cream over the pavlova and spoon on the berries, roasted strawberries, pomegranate arils and pistachios. Serve any remaining topping separately.