3 1/3 cups (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Combine cranberries, granulated sugar, and water in a saucepan. Using the tip of a pairing knife, scrape vanilla seeds into pan, and toss in pod. Bring to a gentle simmer, and cook until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 5 min. Let cool. Remove vanilla bean. Topping can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Vanilla paste can be used as well.
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Whip cream and set aside for topping.
For the Pavlova:
4 large egg-whites, room temp
1 tsp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
½ cup superfine sugar
½ cup confections’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 200F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an overturned bowl or cake pan as a guide, trace a 10-inch circle onto parchment. Turn parchment over, marked side down.
Beat egg whites, cornstarch, salt and vinegar with mixture on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add superfine sugar. Raise speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 7 min. Reduce speed to medium and gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Raise speed to medium-high and beat until very stiff, glossy peaks form, about 7 min. Beat in vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula or a large spoon, spread meringue into marked 10 inch circle on prepared baking sheet, forming a well in center. Or pipe on.
Bake until outside is firm and bottom lifts easily off parchment, about 2 hours. (The inside should still be marshmallow soft.) Leave in a warm place to cool to prevent excessive cracking. When cool, carefully remove from parchment. (Pavlova can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Before serving whisk cream until soft peaks form. Spread in center of meringue.
Spoon topping over cream. Serves 6