Pavlova is a dinner-party dessert made with a meringue base and filled with whipped cream and fruit. It is especially delicious in the summer when topped with seasonal fruit such as strawberries or blueberries. It originated in Australia and was first served to the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, after whom it was named. If you wish to make the pavlova base in advance, you can freeze it and add the whipped cream and topping just before serving.
Preheat your oven on to 250F.
Draw a circle approximately 9 inches in diameter on baking parchment or greaseproof paper with a pencil, and line a baking tray with the paper.
Whip the egg whites in a large glass bowl with an electric mixer until they are stiff.
Gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, continuing to mix until it is all incorporated and the mixture looks white and glossy.
Whisk in the vinegar and corn flour.
Spoon the mixture onto your lined baking tray, and spread it into the circular shape.
Bake in your oven for 1 1/2 hour until crisp on the outside. Turn the oven off, and leave the base to cool in the oven. Let it cool completely.
Cover your pavlova base with a single paper towel to absorb moisture, then wrap it in several layers of foil.
Place your base on a tray or a flat plate so that it retains its shape, and put it in the freezer.
Take your pavlova base out of the freezer, remove the foil, and place the base on a serving plate. Allow it to defrost slowly for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
Whip the cream with an electric mixer just before serving, and pile it onto the top of your pavlova base. Add your choice of fruit.
The base can remain in the freezer for up to one month. Once the base is completely defrosted, store it in an airtight container until needed. Remove the paper and foil during defrosting so that the meringue does not become soggy. Take your eggs out of the refrigerator at least half an hour before whipping to allow them to reach room temperature. Clean your glass bowl with lemon juice before whipping the eggs in order to remove grease or oil from the bowl.