Strawberry-Passion Fruit Pavlova
For the Meringue
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Ricotta Cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
- 12 ounces ricotta cheese (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 passion fruits
- 20 strawberries, hulled and halved (about 12 ounces)
Make the meringue: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Draw an egg shape 10 inches long and 8 inches wide at widest point onto a piece of parchment. Turn parchment over, and use it to line a baking sheet. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in superfine sugar, then cornstarch and salt, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold in vinegar and vanilla.
Using egg drawing as a guide, gently mound meringue on parchment; smooth sides. Bake 1 1/2 hours. Turn heat off, and let meringue cool in oven 2 hours.
Make the ricotta cream: Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and blend them with ricotta and granulated sugar in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in heavy cream until thick and spoonable.
For serving: Cut passion fruits in half, and scoop out pulp and seeds. With the back of a spoon, crack a hole in top of meringue, and fill with ricotta cream. Layer on strawberries and passion fruit. Serve immediately.