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Pavlova (Schaum Torte)

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From the kitchen Casey Cameron

3 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar, white sugar can also be used
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch

whipping cream and fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Cover baking sheet in wax paper or parchment.

Beat egg whites until peaks begin to form.
Add sugar, 1 heaping tablespoon at a time - beating well after each addition.
Beat until glossy and stiff peaks form.
Sprinkle vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla extract over the mixture. Beat just until blended.

Mound meringue in center of prepared sheet. Spread into a circle approximately 3 inches high,
(about a 7 inch circle) Smooth edges with spatula.
Place on center rack in oven.
Wait 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 225 degrees F. Don’t open the oven.
Bake 1½ hours. Checking after 1 hour, if it’s lost its gloss and you see a little crack forming, it’s done. Turn off the oven. Allow meringue to cool in oven at least one hour.
While meringue is cooling, whip cream.
Sugar may be added to whipped cream if you desire, but not needed.
When the meringue has cooled, remove from oven. Carefully place on a pretty plate.
Cover with whipped cream and top your confection with fruit - sliced kiwi, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Slice, serve, and eat as soon as possible after toppings are applied.
Leftovers are not recommended after the toppings have been added, but the meringue shell can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place before assembly.

Casey’s notes: Caster sugar is also called X10 sugar, fine ground sugar, can be found at World Market or Woodmans. Do not open the oven - no peeking for an hour! I’m convinced that doing the whipping by hand in a chilled stainless steel mixing bowl yields optimum results.

Terri’s notes: You can do this - and you should certainly try.
A crunchy, creamy, cloud of sweetness that melts in your mouth!
I used glass bowls, and my stand mixer - so no starting and stopping and hands are free to work.
Oil, water, yolk mess this up – hands, bowls and beaters need to be clean and dry.
The cornstarch and vinegar give Pavlova a dry, crisp crust with a soft marshmallow-like center.

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