As the only thing I like better than summer berries is meringue, mixed berry pavlova is my favorite dessert and eating it my favorite activity. Lots of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries sit atop a huge crunchy meringue foundation. I like to use lots of vanilla ice cream AND whipped cream and gild the lily with raspberry coulis. Nothing could be more indulgently delicious or a better example of the glories of high summer. —Gail Monaghan
room temperature egg whites
cream of tartar
plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
mixed berries of your choice (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc) cut as for fruit salad and mixed with a pinch of salt, and superfine sugar to taste
1 1/4 cups
VERY COLD heavy cream plus a few drops of vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment and draw a 10 inch circle on it. Turn the paper over.
Put the ROOM TEMPERATURE egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the salt and cream of tartar. With the whisk attachment in place, beat on medium low speed until frothy, about 2 minutes.
Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the whites form stiff but not dry peaks 2-3 more minutes.
Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat then increase the speed to high and beat until stiff and glossy, 3-5 more minutes. Beat in the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla.
Spoon the meringue into the traced circle and smooth with a spatula. Shape the meringue a bit like a shallow bowl or soup plate.
Put the meringue in the lower middle of the oven and reduce the heat to 280. Bake for one hour and turn off the oven. Leave the meringue in the closed oven for at least 4 hours or over night.
To serve remove the paper and place the meringue on a cake plate. Soften the ice cream and whip the VERY COLD cream to soft peaks. Pile first the ice cream and then the whipped cream on top of the meringue and top with the berries. Slice into wedges and serve.